San Francisco County Jail Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has decided to completely disregard the rights of incarcerated Women by adopting a policy that allows Men who identify as Women, like Paul Daniel Raynal, to be housed with Women. Mirkarimi’s plan will allow pre-operative transgender inmates permanently into new populations. “Some will still have their penis,” Mirkarimi said, to make it clear what the new classification will immediately mean. This violates international standards regarding the treatment of prisoners.
The anti-lesbian National Center for Lesbian Rights advocated for this travesty.
On November 14, 2013, Jerome Nimmons filed a four-count complaint against Defendants Deputy Duone Clark (“Clark”), Sheriff R.L. Conway and Gwinnett County, in which Nimmons alleged that Defendants violated his rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and “pendant state law [against] sexual assault.” On December 23, 2011, Nimmons, a transgender person, was housed as a male pre-trial detainee in the Gwinnett County Detention Center (“Detention Center”). Nimmons alleges that Clark sexually assaulted him at the Detention Center. On December 28, 2013, Clark was served with the Summons and Complaint. Clark did not file a responsive pleading. On June 2, 2014, Nimmons moved for a default judgment against Clark, (the “Default Judgment Motion”). On August 25, 2014, the Court granted Sheriff Conway’s and Gwinnett County’s Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, and dismissed them from the action.
Westchester County, New York settled out of court with a transgender individual, identified as both Wilson Lojan and Mishele in court documents, who allegedly was sexually assaulted while being held in Westchester County Jail. The victim settled for $65,000. The county Board of Legislators approved the settlement last week. In March 2011, Lojan, an Ecuadorian national living in New York state, was put in county jail after charges stemming from attacking a 25-year-old man with scissors in Mount Pleasant. According to court documents, the sexual assault took place that August when a fellow inmate with a history of violent conduct named Spencer Crumbsie, who was employed by the county to assist corrections officers, gained access to Lojan’s cell to give Lojan a broom. Crumbsie then grabbed Lojan’s breasts before forcing Lojan to perform oral sex on him, court documents said.
All people have a right to not be sexually assaulted while incarcerated (or anywhere else).
In a blatant violation of the rights of Women to not be forced to touch males in the workplace, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario ruled in 2006 that transsexuals who are strip-searched by police should be able to choose whether it’s done by a male or female officer. The ruling stems from a complaint by Rosalyn Forrester, a transsexual, born as a man, who did not undergo a sex-change operation.
Forrester was strip-searched in 1999 by male police officers in Peel Region just west of Toronto. Police arrested Forrester after his common-law spouse accused him of harassment and breaching a restraining order. Forrester was charged, but those charges were later dropped.
The Peel Regional Police policy had been that an officer of the same sex as the suspect should be used to carry outstrip-searches.
An Oklahoma City Man claims he was ridiculed by the Oklahoma County jail staff and verbally assaulted and “outed” by inmates after he was arrested for speeding with a suspended license and no insurance earlier this month. Sasha Ingram, 25, said when he arrived at the Oklahoma County jail May 20, he had already established with the arresting officers that he was transgender, but that it didn’t stop the jail employees from mocking him and playing jokes at his expense. In a statement released Friday afternoon, an Oklahoma County jail spokesman said officials reviewed the video of Ingram’s booking after being notified of his complaint by The Oklahoman and that jail personnel acted according to policy.
The statement said that after staff spoke with Ingram, he was booked into the jail as a female and the name of Sasha Ingram was added to his booking history. It is disturbing that this man was “booked into the jail as a female.” Incarcerated Women also deserve to be treated humanely while serving their sentences, which means space away from males. The United Nations affirmed this belief in its Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners:
In a stunning defeat for Women, Transgender inmates jailed in Rio de Janeiro’s penitentiaries will be able to choose incarceration in prisons for either men or women. This violates international human rights laws that prohibit female inmates from being subjected to males while in custody.
The Department of Justice settled a lawsuit to protect prisoners at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Alabama, from sexual victimization by correctional officers. The settlement resolves the Justice Department’s findings of sexual abuse and sexual harassment at Tutwiler.
In January 2014, the Justice Department issued a findings letter concluding that Tutwiler subjects its women prisoners to a pattern and practice of sexual abuse in violation the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The findings identified several systemic failures that led to the pattern of abuse, including ineffective reporting and investigations and no grievance policy. Continue reading “Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women (USA)”
Deairra Michelle Venable is a Man who identifies as a Women who was arrested during the Baltimore Uprising in late April. Social media and Mashable reported that Venable was “legally a female” on their identification and was housed with males; we could not locate any court documentation to support the statement that Venable was “legally a female” (such as a court order to obtain a name change). We also note that court documents did not refer to Venable as “female” until 2013, and the current charging document identifies Venable as male. Continue reading “Deairra Michelle Venable #BaltimoreUprising (USA)”
“Because inmates are not all alike, the department is creating specialized housing for many specific inmate groups,” DOC Commissioner Joe Ponte said. “Just as adolescents, young adults, and mentally ill inmates have specialized needs, so do men who identify as women.”
Transgender inmates will also be provided with medical and mental-health care as needed. The voluntary unit will start out with 30 beds — enough to house the roughly 30 to 35 transgender women behind bars at any given time.