To Keep Me Safe from Harm? Transgender Prisoners and the Experience of Imprisonment

Richard Edney


The experience of imprisonment for a transgender person is often a terrifying one. He or she is extremely vulnerable in such an environment from sexual violence from other prisoners. In addition, he or she may be exposed to inadequate or inappropriate medical care. Consequently transgender prisoners are often denied the protection offered by rule of law. A significant reason for this treatment is the erasure of the transgender experience in informing the nature of the prison regime. In particular, the failure to give sufficient weight to gender self identification by transgender prisoners exposes them to risks which other prisoners do not have to en- dure. It is suggested that the only way to reduce such harm is through the cultivation of a prison regime based upon the lives of transgender prisoners.

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