Incarcerated transgender people are ten times as likely to be sexually assaulted by their incarcerated peers and five times as likely to be sexually assaulted by staff.
Denying medical care and medically necessary treatment to transgender inmates is inhumane and against the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which reads:
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Screening and Classification; Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) Information
Screening and Classification
- Facilities must screen all individuals at admission and upon transfer to assess their risk of experiencing or perpetrating abuse, including identifying those who may be at risk because of their transgender status, gender non-conformity, sexual orientation, or intersex condition. The individual’s own perception of their vulnerability must also be considered.
- Individuals may not be disciplined for any refusal or non-disclosure during screening regarding gender identity, sexual orientation, intersex condition, disability status, or prior sexual victimization.
- Download the executive summary of the National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape.
- Facilities must use this information to make appropriate, individualized decisions about an individual’s security classification and housing placement.
Resources for Trans People Who Are Currently Incarcerated
Black and Pink provides advocacy and connections between queer and trans prisoners of all genders within the U.S. prison and jail system through a free newsletter of information, art, and pen pals. Submissions for the newsletter are welcomed.
The LGBT Project works for an America free of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The ACLU National Prison Project is dedicated to ensuring that our nation’s prisons, jails, and other places of detention comply with the Constitution, domestic law, and international human rights principles, and to ending the policies that have given the United States the highest incarceration rate in the world.
Sylvia Rivera Law Project (works with NYC trans people only)
Provides free legal services for low income people and people of color who are trans, intersex, or gender non-conforming, including issues related to housing, employment, foster care, welfare, benefits, immigration, school, and the criminal justice system in the New York City area ONLY.
A national human rights organization that works to put an end to sexual violence against men, women, and youth in all forms of detention.
Prison Book Program
c/o Lucy Parsons Bookstore
1306 Hancock Street, Suite 100
Quincy, MA 02169
Phone: (617) 423-3298
Prison Book Program gives books to individual prisoners in the United States. Prisoners have limited access to educational materials, and we provide them with free books for personal development during incarceration. The Prison Book program takes donated books.
MTPC is also a book drop-off site for paperback books on transgender topics. Please see the Prison Book Programs Do’s and Don’ts for donating books. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about donating directly to MTPC
Transgender Gender Variant Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP)
370 Turk Street #370
San Francisco, CA 94102
The TGI Justice Project’s (TGIJP) mission is to challenge and end the human rights abuses committed against transgender, gender variant/genderqueer, and intersex (TGI) people in California prisons and beyond.
P.O. Box 4796
Baltimore, MD 21211
Works with women including trans women and trans men who feel they would benefit from women-centered services. They offer support and advocacy for those who are incarcerated, homeless, addicted, or in the sex trade.
Resources not specific to transgender people:
Massachusetts Correctional Legal Services (MCLS, Inc.)
Eight Winter Street, 11th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
MCLS provides civil legal services to people in Massachusetts prisons and jails. The office does not provide criminal defense services. The office focuses on four issues: health and mental health care, guard-on-prisoner violence, physical conditions of confinement, and segregation and isolation. MCLS addresses these problems through administrative advocacy, legislative advocacy, giving information to prisoners about their rights and how to pursue them, referrals to private attorneys, and some individual and class action litigation. MCLS is also known as Prisoners’ Legal Services.
Families for Justice as Healing organizes formerly incarcerated women to join the movement toward creating alternatives to mass incarceration.
Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) Information
MTPC works to ensure that local, state, and federal legislation, policies, and practices that affect trans people who are incarcerated are allowing appropriate dress codes and are not denying trans prisoners access to medically necessary trans-related health care, canteen items, trans-related educational materials, and books, and/or visitors. Contact us if you know someone currently incarcerated who is experiencing discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression.