In Rescinding Transgender Prisoner Protections, Trump Administration Again Targets the Most Vulnerable

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May 11, 2018
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Today, the Trump Administration released changes to the federal Bureau of Prisons Transgender Offender Manual that undercuts constitutional protections and efforts in federal law – specifically the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) – to protect all prisoners from sexual assault and violence.

Richard Saenz, Lambda Legal Staff Attorney and Criminal Justice and Police Misconduct Strategist, releases the following statement:

“Once again, the Trump Administration is turning its back on those most vulnerable. It is well established that transgender prisoners – particularly transgender women housed in men’s facilities – suffer much greater rates of sexual abuse than other prison populations.

"A California study found that when transgender women are housed with men, they are 13 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than male prisoners in the same facilities.

“Conversely, it is increasingly common for correctional facilities to house transgender people consistent with their gender identity, and agencies have made these placements without experiencing any increase in abusive incidents or security risks.

"There is no justification for this policy shift; it is a deliberate recipe for violence against transgender people based in inexcusable prejudice.”