THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — Through the Freedom of Information Act, the Smoking Gun obtained a two-page list of names and other information regarding 61 transgender inmates in federal prisons from the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). (The names of the prisoners however, were whited out by the BOP). There is no information as to why the BOP is maintaining such a list.
The heading of this document states “GID Inmates” (GID likely meaning gender identity disorder). Along with their names, the document notes the federal prison they’re serving at, and whether or not they’re receiving HRT. There are two other categories, but it is not clear as to what these categories mean.
Likewise, there is no information as to the purpose of the list. One cannot readily answer the question of whether this maintaining of such a list by the federal prison system helps or hurts transgender prisoners.
The Smoking Gun article and list [Trigger Warning – comments section.]: Bureau Of Prisons Maintains “Gender Identity Disorder List” Of 61 Federal Inmates | The SmokingGun.
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Categories: Policy, Administrative, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans
Of course there is no privacy in this age of information. I am suspicious of the presence of this list. I cannot imagine that the Federal prison system is actually looking out for our welfare. Also most of the prisons are now in the hands of for profit corporations so that makes me even more dubious as to the existence of a list. This definitely deserves some looking into.
I suspect the list is a result of the Prison Rape Elimination act, which contains some very good trans* specific provisions. It would be difficult for BOP to adhere to those provisions without some sort of tracking of trans* identified inmates.
You might be on to something. I dug up some background:
a proposal defined – I applaud the effort and would like this to be a provision of ENDA.
This is very, very interesting to see. There are definitely major concerns about this list and it is extremely problematic that it can be obtained through the FOIA. This stuff should be limited and characterized as medical/mental health information (GID) so that it is not accessible through FOIA. (BTW – I am not saying that I agree with the GID diagnosis, or that gender identity is a medical or mental health issue..I am simply arguing that it should be limited in that way for privacy reasons.)
However, I don’t know that I am against the prison system tracking this population. I volunteer with the John Howard Association, who works on prison reform efforts in Illinois – and one of the issues we are looking at is the treatment of transgender and intersex inmates while incarcerated. It is difficult for the prison to know and understand what these individuals might be experiencing when they do not know who they are and that they might be at increased risk. (I understand that not all persons who might identify as transgender want to be identified by prison officials, but some do and for others it becomes obvious during inmate classification). This is especially true for PREA-related issues, but also regarding access to medical care, safety from physical assault and verbal harassment, and access to educational/vocational services. But perhaps a notation in the person’s file, rather than a list that is accessible to anyone is the way to go.
I would be very interested to know what they are doing with this list, and how it is affecting transgender inmates (for better or for worse).
Here is an example of the Committee in Illinois that evaluates individuals. http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/01/19/committee-to-decide-where-to-assign-transgender-inmate/
I’m sorry – I misunderstood. Now that I re-read this post and the Smoking Gun post I see that the prison did NOT release the names of the inmates. Whew.
Thank you Claire for the clarification. After working with the prisons here in New York and knowing of the 90% fill rate proviso for prisons with the for profit corporations I admit to being a bit paranoid. I am so glad that those suspicions were proved groundless in this case.