Chelsea (Bradley) Manning (USA)

Bradley Manning, who identifies as a transgender woman named Chelsea, is set to be released from prison next week as per the terms of Obama’s commutation of the remainder of Manning’s 35-year sentence.  Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst, was convicted of whistleblowing 2010 and has been serving in an all-male (because he’s male) U.S. military prison for the past seven years.

Manning’s legal team released the following statement on behalf of Chelsea (emphasis added):

“For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea. I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world. Freedom used to be something that I dreamed of but never allowed myself to fully imagine. Now, freedom is something that I will again experience with friends and loved ones after nearly seven years of bars and cement, of periods of solitary confinement, and of my health care and autonomy restricted, including through routinely forced haircuts. I am forever grateful to the people who kept me alive, President Obama, my legal team, and countless supporters.”

HAIRCUTS.  Manning, whose ACLU attorneys referred to haircuts (or lack thereof) as “a medically necessary part of her treatment to follow the female grooming standards related to hair,” appears to believe that his autonomy was most restricted by his haircut.

According to ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio, “Like far too many people in prison, particularly transgender women, Chelsea Manning has had to survive unthinkable violence throughout the seven years of her incarceration.”

One reasonably wonders if Strangio, who previously asserted that having short hair “sends the message to everyone that she is not a ‘real’ woman” was referring to “forced haircuts” in the above statement as “violence.”

Chelsea Manning, legal team statements on upcoming release — Windy City Times

Andrew Burns (Scotland)

Three female prison officers at HM Prison Glenochil in Scotland are refusing to do intimate body checks of Andrew Burns, a violent male inmate who identifies as a woman named Tiffany Scott.  According to a source at the prison, “Nobody blames them. Burns is creepy and quite clearly a man so there’s no reason why professional warders should have to go along with this fantasy.”  The source also added, “The guy is a full-time menace and makes it his daily business to be as difficult and awkward as possible.” The female officers have asked their trade union, Prison Officers’ Association Scotland, to support them in their refusal to strip-search Burns.

Female prison officers refuse to strip search transgender offender they insist is clearly a man – Mirror Online

Prison guards forced to call inmate Mighty Almighty after violent convict previously changed name to Obi Wan Kenobi and God Almighty – Daily Record

Levy v. Wexford Health Sources (USA)

El Soudani El Wahhabi, a man who identifies as a woman known as Shawnte Anne Levy (“Levy”), has filed a lawsuit against Wexford Health Sources, former Maryland Division of Corrections Commissioner Gregg L Hershberger, and North Branch Correctional Institution (“NBCI”) Warden Frank Bishop.  Levy is incarcerated at NBCI, and alleges that the “Defendants have violated her rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and the Maryland Declaration of Rights by denying her requests” for estrogen and psychotherapy as treatment for the inmate’s Gender Identity Disorder.  Levy is seeking injunctive relief in the form of estrogen medication and “to require NBCI to update her commitment record to reflect that name change.”

Levy w. Wexford

Ricky Chaperon/Synthia Kavanagh (Canada)

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In 2003, the Federal Court of Canada ruled in this decision that a male may be moved to a women’s prison facility and receive government-funded sex reassignment surgery (“SRS”) and hormone therapy if he identifies as a woman.  Ricky Chaperon, a male who identifies as a woman named Synthia Kavanagh, was serving a 25-year sentence “for the 1987 hammer slaying of a transsexual prostitute in Toronto” when he won this landmark ruling.  Following the court’s decision, Kavanagh was transferred to a women’s unit and received SRS, all at taxpayer expense.  In 2005, Kavanagh “allegedly trashed the Edmonton’s women’s prison, fought off guards and threatened the lives of others” and was subsequently moved to a segregated women’s facility in Kitchener, Ontario.

The Transgender Inmate Experience_ Synthia Kavanagh Human Rights Case

Free North America • View topic – Violent transexual male doesn’t do well at female prison

Duane LeRoy Fox / Jennifer Ann Jasmaine vs. Futrell, Magana, Daughety, Byrd, Owens, Miley, Jackson, Lindsey, Richardson, Collens, Hacket, Daniles, Couch and John Does (USA)

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Duane Leroy Fox is a lifetime registered sex offender for offences committed against a 14 year old, Fox was 31 at the time. He is currently a male prisoner in North Carolina.  He has filed a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. sections 1983 which include: motions to amend prior action, motions for a preliminary injunction and motion to amend caption. Continue reading

Tate v. Wexford Health Source (USA)

Carl Tate, a male who identifies as a woman, who is currently an inmate at Centralia Correctional Center (“Centralia”), has filed a complaint against Wexford Health Source Inc. and employees at Centralia, Western Illinois Correctional Center, and the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), seeking monetary and injunctive relief.  The complaint alleges that Tate has been diagnosed by several psychiatrists as transgender, and that “the approved treatment for dysphoria patients consists of hormone therapy, ‘real life experience of living as a member of the opposite sex,’ and sex reassignment surgery.”  The complaint also alleges that when Tate requested sexual reassignment surgery, staff responded  that “IDOC does not pay for such treatment and that she will have to wait until she is released from prison before she is able to receive reassignment surgery.”  Tate has also filed a motion for appointment of counsel.  On February 18, United States District Judge Nancy J Rosenstengel issued a memorandum splitting the complaint into 5 counts, denying Tate’s request for counsel, and referring the entire case to United States Magistrate Judge Donald G Wilkerson.

Tate Opinion.

Hart v. Gusman (USA)

Karen Wells Roby, a United States Magistrate Judge, has granted Mark Hart’s Motion for Leave to File First Amended Complaint, filed December 9, 2015.  The original complaint alleged that Hart’s constitutional rights had been violated while he was an inmate at the Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel, Louisiana, “by the violent conditions in the Orleans Parish Prison system, which led to him being raped and assaulted by other inmates as a result of his cell placement within the prison and other actions of the prison officials.”  In September 2015 Roby issued a Partial Report and Recommendation, recommending “that Hart’s claims against Sheriff Gusman and Chief Weaver be dismissed with prejudice as frivolous and otherwise for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted.”  The amended complaint offers new legal arguments and additional specific factual allegations against Sheriff Gunsman, Colonel Cole, and Deputies Joseph and Short.

Gusman Opinion.