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, and Public Safety Consequences Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights February 25, 2014 Mr. Durbin and members of the Judiciary Committee: We thank Chairman Durbin and the Judiciary Committee for holding this Senate hearing to consider the extensive human rights, fiscal, and public safety consequences of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons, jails, and detention centers. The undersigned organizations working to secure policies that benefit the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people urge the Committee to not only consider the detrimental consequences of solitary confinement for the general prison population, but to also consider the especially severe effect on LGBT prisoners and LGBT immigrant detainees. Administrative and solitary confinement are punitive and destructive forms of housing, yet they are commonly abused by correctional facilities in the U.S. at a high financial cost to the institutions and severe psychological, physical, and emotional costs to those confined. As this hearing will demonstrate, the effects of solitary confinement are devastating and far-reaching, as prison officials corral more vulnerable inmates into confinement as a means to protect them rather than working to ensure a safer general population. This is especially true for transgender inmates. When we speak of transgender people, we refer to an umbrella term for people whose gender identity, expression or behavior is different from those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth. Transgender people face the threat of disrespect, discrimination, violence, and sexual assault because of their real or perceived gender identity. For these reasons, transgender prisoners are often kept in solitary confinement, a form of involuntary segregation with devastating mental and emotional effects. We urge the Committee to not only seriously consider solitary confinement’s consequences to the general prison population, but also the especially severe consequences for transgender prisoners. Placing transgender prisoners in solitary confinement causes excessive harm by denying them services and programs, external support systems, and human interactions upon which they rely for survival. Solitary confinement should only be used as a last measure to ensure inmate welfare and not as a routine procedure, as is so commonly the case across the United States. The Committee’s timely hearing will demonstrate the dire need for U.S. correctional facilities to protect inmates from the long-term damage caused by solitary confinement. Transgender Individuals are Disproportionately Incarcerated and Placed in Solitary Confinement Transgender people are disproportionately incarcerated because of systemic discrimination
that limits educational opportunities, disrupts support networks, and prevents access to and maintenance of employment and essential services. They are more likely than the general population to be homeless and to participate in street economies.1 Transgender inmates are much more likely to be in prison because of property crimes, are less likely to be identified as gang members, and are more likely to have low security classifications.2 They are categorically low-threat, but they are very likely to be confined in isolation. Placing transgender inmates in solitary confinement amounts to punishing them for their transgender status. Recent data from the groundbreaking report Injustice at Every Turn: A Report from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality, found transgender people are more likely to be imprisoned than non-transgender people. Of the 6,450 transgender people surveyed, 16% reported being sent to jail or prison “for any reason,” with rates of incarceration at 47% for Black respondents and 30% for American Indians.3 Comparatively, a 2003 Department of Justice report shows 2.7% of the general population is imprisoned at some point in life.4 Because transgender people are incarcerated at higher rates than the general population, they are disproportionately represented in prison populations. LGBT Inmates are at a Much Higher Risk of Sexual Assault Nearly all transgender inmates are placed in sex-segregated facilities based on their sex assigned at birth and not on their gender identity. Transgender women are frequently placed in men’s facilities, and transgender men are frequently placed in women’s facilities. 5 When prison officials make these incongruous placements, inmates are singled-out for scrutiny, harassment, and abuse by other inmates and prison staff. The impact of placing transgender inmates in facilities inconsistent with their gender identity
Jamie M. Grant, Lisa A. Motet, Justin Tanis, Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Study, National Center for Transgender Equality (2011), http://transequality.org/PDFs/Executive_Summary.pdf.
L. Sexton, V. Jenness & J.M. Sumner, Where the Margins Meet: A Demographic Assessment of Transgender Inmates in Men’s Prisons, JUSTICE QUARTERLY, 27:6 (2010).
Grant, supra note 1. Thomas P. Bonczar, Prevalence of Imprisonment in the U.S. Population, 1974-2001, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1 (2003) available at http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/piusp01.pdf. 5 Ally Windsor Howell, A Comparison of the Treatment of Transgender Persons in the Criminal Justice Systems of Ontario, Canada, New York, and California, 28 Buff. Pub. Int. L.J. 133, 145 (2010) citing Amnesty Int'l USA, Stonewalled: Police Abuse and Misconduct Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People in the U.S. 59-63 (2005), available at http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR51/122/2005; Stop Prisoner Rape & the National Prison Project of the ACLU, Still in Danger: The Ongoing Threat of Sexual Violence against Transgender Prisoners (2005), http://www.justdetention.org/pdf/stillindanger.pdf; Human Rights Campaign Found.Transgender Americans: A Handbook for Understanding 44-46 (2005), available at http://www.hrc.org/documents/Transgender_handbook.pdf. For examples of anecdotal evidence, see Oliver Libaw, Prisons Face Dilemma with Transgender Inmates: Inmates Who Look Like Women, Housed with Men, ABC News (Jan. 22, 2005), http://abcnews.go.com/US/story? id=90919&page=1; Cosmo Garvin. What's she doing in the men's jail? News Review, (Feb.13, 2003), http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/whats-she-doing-in-the-mens-jail/content?oid=14229.
is evident in the data. Of transgender women housed in men’s facilities, 21% reported experiencing physical abuse and 20% reported incidents of sexual abuse. For transgender men, 11% of those placed in women’s facilities reported physical abuse, and 6% reported sexual abuse. In addition transgender men are more often in danger of assault by prison staff than transgender women. The U.S. Department of Justice reported that in men’s facilities, inmates who are smaller in stature, display feminine traits or features, or are known to be gay are at higher risk for physical and sexual assault.6 Injustice at Every Turn found 16% of transgender people in prisons or jails were physically assaulted and 15% were sexually assaulted.7 For Black transgender respondents, 34% reported sexual abuse while in prison or jail.8 While solitary confinement arguably “protects” transgender prisoners from assault perpetrated by the general population, it increases inmates’ risk for assault and harassment by prison staff, a documented source of abuse for transgender inmates.9 As confirmed by Injustice at Every Turn, of respondents who went to jail and/or prison, 37% reported being harassed by correctional officers or staff. Respondents of color experienced higher rates of officer/staff harassment than their white peers, with Latinas/os at 56%, black respondents reporting 50%, and multiracial individuals reporting 44%. Transgender male inmates experienced officer/staff harassment at higher incidence (44%) than their transgender female (40%) peers.10 Solitary confinement has become U.S. correctional facilities’ quick fix for “protecting” transgender inmates from the unsafe conditions of the general prison population that remain unaddressed, effectively punishing inmates for their identities and for being victims of abuse. It is not acceptable to trade the violence and cruelty of prison rape for the violence and cruelty of long-term solitary confinement. Treatment of Transgender Inmates While in Custody By its nature, involuntary solitary confinement is punitive. It removes people from common human contact, from even the comfort of conversation. It severely restricts the movements and privileges of transgender inmates on the basis of their marginalized identities. Like other inmates who are placed in solitary confinement, transgender inmates are allowed at most an hour outside of their cell per day, with some inmates reporting as little as five to ten minutes each day.11 If inmates are fortunate, they may be able to shower once a week, but often times,
Id. at 151. Grant, supra note 1, at 5. 8 Id. 9 Christine Peek, Breaking Out of the Prison Hierarchy: Transgender Prisoners, Rape, and the Eighth Amendment, 44 Santa Clara L. Rev. 1211, 1240 (2004) citing Schwenk v. Hartford, 204 F.3d 1187, 1192 (9th Cir. 2000) (transsexual plaintiff alleged attempted rape by a Washington state prison guard); Darren Rosenblum, “Trapped in Sing Sing: Transgendered Prisoners Caught in the Gender Binarism 6 Mich. J. Gender & L. 499, 525 (2000) (citing Meriwether, 821 F.2d at 410). See also James Robertson, A Clean Heart and an Empty Head: The Supreme Court and Sexual Terrorism in Prison, 81 N.C. L. Rev. 433, nt. 101,at 446 (2003). “Because transsexuality and homosexuality are often conflated, officials may also consider transgender inmates appropriate targets.” 10 Grant, supra note 1. 11 Howell, supra note 3 at 191-92.
showers are less frequent.12 While in solitary confinement, inmate access to prison programming, such as educational classes, laundry, the prison library, and other prison facilities, is severely restricted or denied altogether. Necessary medical care is also sometimes altogether denied while in solitary confinement.13 The denial of medical care that is often inherent in the use of solitary confinement may have additional disturbing consequences for transgender people. Twelve percent (12%) of transgender respondents surveyed in jail or prison reported being denied routine nontransition related healthcare and 17% reported being denied hormone treatment. Transgender people of color also reported higher rates of denial of hormone treatment with American Indians reporting 36% denial and Black respondents at 30% denial.14 The general denial of necessary medical care for inmates in solitary confinement compounded with the rates of medical care denial for transgender inmates in the general prison population implies there may be even more dire consequences for transgender inmates. The use of involuntary protective custody also prevents many vulnerable inmates from accessing essential programs and work assignments, thereby reducing their chances of rehabilitation and lengthening their sentences. Programs are usually the only means for inmates to earn money, which can allow them to buy basic products like shampoo and pay debts that they owe as a result of their convictions. Without successful completion of programs, it is also difficult or impossible to obtain parole or conditional release, so inmates who are not permitted to participate in programming spend more time in prison. Programs also interrupt the deadening boredom of incarceration by providing some level of meaningful activity. They can also help inmates develop skills critical for successful reintegration into the community upon release, improving their lives and others. Effects of Solitary Confinement on Transgender Prisoners The isolation that vulnerable inmates endure, purportedly “for their own good,” can destroy their mental health and ability to function, with consequences that will continue to affect them for the rest of their lives. There is an overwhelming wealth of research indicating solitary confinement is a significant factor leading to a multitude of psychological effects, including hyper-sensitivity to external stimuli, hallucinations, panic attacks, obsessive thoughts, and paranoia.15 The U.N. Special Rapporteur on torture concluded solitary confinement becomes “prolonged” at 15 days, after which the psychological effects may become irreversible.16
Id. Id. 14 Grant, supra note 1. 15 Christy Carnegie Fujio, Kristine Huskey, and Mike Corradini, Buried Alive: Solitary Confinement in the US Detention System, Physicians for Human Rights (April, 2013), https://s3.amazonaws.com/PHR_Reports/Solitary-Confinement-April-2013-full.pdf. 16 Interim Report of the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 63rd Sess., UN Doc. A/63/175 (July 28, 2008), at 77.
Prisoners in solitary confinement develop psychopathologies at higher rates than those in the general population (28% v. 15%),17 and have been found to engage in self-mutilation at rates higher than the general population.18 In an extensive study of the Pelican Bay State Prison in Del Norte, California, researcher Dr. Stuart Grassian found that prisoners who had been in solitary confinement had “high anxiety, nervous-ness [sic], obsessive ruminations, anger, violent fantasies, nightmares, trouble sleeping, as well as dizziness, perspiring hands, and heart palpitations.”19 Psychologists and psychiatrists alike have testified about the nature, magnitude, and longterm consequences of the acute negative effects of solitary confinement in various prison systems across the country.20 One study analyzed the effects of solitary confinement in case studies of prisoners who were held indefinitely in a Maine prison.21 Many had been given no reason for their isolation. Almost every prisoner in the isolation unit had attempted suicide,22 and the prisoners often acted out in seemingly irrational ways such as smashing their heads against concrete walls and destroying their beds and light fixtures.23 An analysis of conditions in a variety of segregation units in Canada also detailed prisoners' psychological reactions to their confinement. Prisoners reported difficulties concentrating on even simple tasks, experienced headaches, mental and physical deterioration, emotional flatness, lability, breakdowns, hallucinations, paranoia, hostility and rage, and some were beset with thoughts of self-mutilation and suicide (which, in some instances, they acted upon).24 A review of the medical records of inmates in the New York City jail system from January 1, 2010, through January 31, 2013 found only 7.3% of admissions included any solitary confinement, however 53.3% of acts of self-harm and 45.0% of acts of potentially fatal selfharm occurred within this group.25 The New York City jail system has changed its policy in
H. S. Andersen, D. Sestoft, T. Lillebæk, G. Gabrielsen, R. Hemmingsen, & P. Kramp, A Longitudinal Study of Prisoners on Remand: Psychiatric Prevalence, Incidence and Psycho-pathology in Solitary vs.Non-Solitary Confinement. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 102(1), 19 (2000). 18 Craig Haney & Mona Lynch, Regulating Prisons of the Future: A Psychological Analysis of Supermax and Solitary Confinement.New York University Review of Law and Social Change 23: 477-570 (1997). 19 Sal Rodriguez, Fact Sheet: Psychological Effects of Solitary Confinement. Solitary Watch (Feb. 22. 2014) http://solitarywatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/fact-sheet-psychological-effects-ofsolitary-confinement.pdf. 20 Id. 21 Thomas B. Benjamin & Kenneth Lux, Constitutional and Psychological Implications of the Use of Solitary Confinement 9 Clearinghouse Rev. 83 (1975-76). 22 Id. at 84. One nearly died from loss of blood after cutting himself with his broken light bulb, another swallowed glass, and a number of prisoners attempted hanging themselves. Several were successful. 23 Id. 24 Haney, supra note 18, at 512-513 citing Michael Jackson, Prisoners of Isolation: Solitary Confinement in Canada 13, 64-80 (1983). 25 Fatoa Kaba , Andrea Lewis, Sarah Glowa-Kollisc, S., James Hadler, David Lee, Howard Alper, Daniel Selling, Ross MacDonald, Angela Solimo, Amanda Parsons & Homer Venters, Solitary Confinement and Risk of Self-Harm Among Jail Inmates. American Journal of Public Health, 104(3),
light of these findings. 26 Recent data suggests a correlation between solitary confinement and suicide attempts. A recent study from 2005 of the 44 inmates who committed suicide in the California prison system showed 70% were housed in solitary confinement.27 Another study from 2007 on suicide attempts in prison documented that solitary confinement is a major factor in suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.28 Given the overuse of solitary confinement as placement for vulnerable transgender inmates and the prevalence of suicide attempts among the transgender population, the correlative data on suicide and solitary confinement is especially troubling. Data from Injustice at Every Turn reflects a staggering 41% of transgender people had attempted suicide, compared to 1.6% of the general population.29 Suicide attempts were even higher for transgender people of color, with rates at 56% for American Indians and 54% of multiracial people.30 Of all transgender people who were incarcerated at some point, the suicide attempt rate rises to 52%.31 However, for those who were incarcerated 3-5 years, the suicide attempt rate is 60% 32 and for those who were incarcerated for 5 or more years, the suicide attempt rate was 70%. It is possible tthe over-usage of solitary confinement during imprisonment contributes to the increased suicide attempts. Isolation has a deep psychological impact on all people, but it compounds the trauma suffered by those who have been abused. Transgender inmates are 13 times more likely to be sexually assaulted in custody and sometimes they are placed in solitary confinement because they have been raped.33 Survivors of sexual abuse suffer distress, anxiety, fear, and other forms of emotional trauma.34 Solitary confinement can make these feelings worse due to isolation and the inability to be comforted by other people. 35 The fear of solitary confinement and the trauma of isolation make abuse survivors less likely to report their abuse and escape ongoing abusive situations.
442 (2014). 26 Id.
Don Thompson. Convict Suicides in State Prison Hit Record High . Associated Press, (January 3, 2006). I. Suto, Inmates Who Attempted Suicide in Prison: A Qualitative Study. (A doctoral Dissertation, Pacific University) (2007), available at http://commons.pacificu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1061&context=spp
29 30 31
Grant, supra note 1.
Id. Id. 32 Id.
Valerie Jenness Cheryl L Mason, Kristy N. Matsuda & Jennifer Macy Sumner, Violence in California Correctional Facilities: An Empirical Examination of Sexual Assault UC Irvine Center for Evidence-Based Corrections (2007), http://www.prearesourcecenter.org/sites/default/files/library/55preapresentationpreareportucijennessetal.pdf 34 See e.g. Patricia A. Resnick & Monica K Schnike. Treating Symptoms in Adult Victims of Sexual Assault. J Interpers Violence 1990 5: 488; Patricia A. Resnick. The Psychological Impact of Rape. J Interpers Violence 1993 8: 223. 35 Carly B. Dierkhising, Andrea Lane & Misaki N. Natsuaki,, (2013, December 30). Victims Behind Bars: A Preliminary Study on Abuse During Juvenile Incarceration and Post-Release Social and Emotional Functioning. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law (Dec. 30, 2013 advanced online publication), http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2013-45451-001/.
Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Standards are Insufficient The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Standards are not sufficient to ensure rape survivors experience the least restrictive environment and least duration in isolation necessary for their safety. The standards provide no concrete rules for the maximum duration of isolation and the circumstances under which transgender inmates may be safely housed either in or out of solitary confinement. PREA requires facilities to document the services and programs inmates have been denied as a result of isolation, but it does not mandate these services and programs be made available. The PREA standards36 call on corrections officials to provide survivors with access to services and programs and to move them to less restrictive housing as soon as possible.37 They also mandate the provision of emergency and follow-up medical and mental health care, including contact with support services.38 However, the standards do not place strong enough limits on the time a survivor may involuntarily be placed in solitary confinement. The PREA standards generally limit involuntary solitary confinement for survivors to 30 days. 39 A more appropriate time limit is 72 hours. The standards do call for ongoing, regularly scheduled reviews of whether a survivor should be kept in solitary confinement every 30 days.40 A more appropriate review schedule would be every 10 days. In addition, most corrections agencies have failed to meaningfully implement PREA requirements for ensuring safe alternatives to solitary confinement for transgender prisoners. The standards require agencies to make case-by-case decisions regarding whether a given transgender prisoner should be housed in a women’s or men’s facilities, giving serious consideration to the prisoner’s own view of where they would be more safely housed, and not making placements solely based on a prisoner’s anatomy. 41 While a few agencies around the country have implemented meaningful procedures for making such case-by-case decisions,42 most—including the Federal Bureau of Prisons—have either ignored this requirement or incorporated the text of the standards into internal policies without any corresponding procedure to ensure adequate case-by-case consideration. Accordingly, the intention of the PREA standards—that more transgender prisoners would be housed in a manner consistent with their gender identity and outward presentation—has not been met. Failure to implement these requirements only further ensures that agencies will continue to rely on solitary confinement as the only means to protect transgender people from physical and sexual abuse. Solitary Confinement for Transgender Immigrant Detainees While placements of transgender inmates in solitary confinement within prisons, jails, and
Dept. of Justice [DOJ}, The Prison Rape Elimination Act Standards, 28 CFR Part 115 available at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/programs/pdfs/prea_final_rule.pdf. 37 Id. As an example, see the relevant adult jail and prison standard at 34 C.F.R. §§ 115.43, 115.68. 38 34 C.F.R. §§ 115.53, 115.82-115.83. 39 34 C.F.R. § 115.43. 40 Id.
34 C.F.R. § 115.42(c)-(f). A few examples include the Sheriff’s Departments of Harris County, Tx., City and County of Denver, Co., and Cumberland, Me, and juvenile facilities in Hawaii, New Orleans, La., and Santa Clara County, Ca.
correctional facilities around the U.S. are generally unwarranted and create lasting detrimental consequences, transgender immigrant detainees placed in solitary confinement in detention facilities also experience negative outcomes. Many of the approximately 32,000 immigrant detainees being held in the United States have not committed any criminal offense, but are awaiting a judge’s determination of deportation proceedings.43 Although Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention is not designed to be punitive, many of the detainees are treated as criminals. Transgender immigrant detainees are no exception to this practice and are often treated far worse; they may be placed in solitary confinement for the same reasons as transgender inmates: convenience for prison officials, consequences of housing placements based on sex assigned at birth, and refusal to address safety issues in the general detainee population that make transgender detainees more vulnerable to physical and sexual assault. Cases of transgender immigrant detainees experiencing sexual assault at the hands of detention officers, and denial of health care have been reported.44 A complaint from the National Immigrant Justice Center detailed the mistreatment of more than a dozen LGB and transgender detainees in California, Pennsylvania, Texas and other states. The complaint gives accounts of prison officials’ ignorance, or in some cases total indifference, to the needs and vulnerable status of transgender detainees.45 In an appalling account, Victoria Arellano, a 23-year-old HIV-positive transgender undocumented immigrant was detained at a traffic stop. While in detention for two months, Arellano’s health quickly deteriorated, and she was not sent to the infirmary until her fellow detainees staged a protest. When she finally was taken to a hospital two days later, it was too late and she died of an AIDS-related infection. Her family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court.46 A 2013 directive from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) addresses the use of solitary confinement for vulnerable inmates and is an essential step toward improving the problem. The directive states, “Placement in administrative segregation due to a special vulnerability should be used only as a last resort and when no other viable housing options exist.” It also directs ICE to “take additional steps to ensure appropriate review and oversight of decisions to retain detainees in segregated housing for over 14 days”.47 Facilities must also
Andrew Harmon, Eight Months in Solitary, The Advocate. (May 7, 2012) available at http://www.advocate.com/news/news-features/2012/05/07/transgender-detainees-face-challengesbroken-immigration-system?page=0,0 44 Restore Fairness. A transgender detainee speaks out. Breakthrough TV (2009), available at http://vimeo.com/7551045. 45 See e.g. Harmon, Andrew “Eight Months in Solitary” The Advocate (May 7, 2012) http://www.advocate.com/news/news-features/2012/05/07/transgender-detainees-face-challengesbroken-immigration-system?page=0,0; citing “Stop Abusing of LGBT Immigrants.” National Immigrant Justice Center available at http://www.immigrantjustice.org/stop-abuse-detained-lgbtimmigrants; Alisa Solomon, Nightmare in Miami, Village Voice, (Mar. 19, 2002), http://www.villagevoice.com/content/printVersion/168959. 46 Hernandez, Sandra, A lethal limbo. Los Angeles Times. (2008), http://articles.latimes.com/2008/jun/01/opinion/op-hernandez1. 47 United States Dept. of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Review of the Use of Segregation for ICE Detainees (Sept. 4, 2014) available at http://www.ice.gov/doclib/detention-
provide special reporting requirements for vulnerable populations, including those who might be at risk of harm due to sexual orientation or gender identity. Although this directive is good first step, it stops short of eliminating the use of long-term “protective” solitary confinement and does not legally bind ICE’s contract facilities. We are also concerned t hat the 30-day reporting period it establishes exceeds the 15 days which the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has determined can have serious and irreversible effects on an individual's health. Involuntary Segregation as a Due Process Concern Transgender inmates are consistently placed in solitary confinement without the due process procedures given to those who are isolated due to misconduct. Miki Ann DiMarco was housed in a women's correctional facility in general population until it was discovered she had anatomically male genitalia, at which point she was placed in solitary confinement with severely limited privileges.48 Prior to her transfer to solitary confinement, there were no reported incidents, and DiMarco “got along just fine with the other female inmates.”49 DiMarco spent 438 days in solitary confinement.50 She, “unlike those involved in a mandatory disciplinary hearing, did not violate prison rules but simply arrived at the [prison] with certain physical characteristics that she did not choose. [She] should have been allowed to at least let her thoughts and concerns be heard prior to the [prison's] final decision to place [her] in solitary confinement.51 Solitary confinement further deprives inmates of their liberty. There must be adequate procedures in place to assure this deprivation is reasonable and necessary. Punitive measures should never be used based solely on an individuals’ identity or presentation. Costs to Prisons There are significant financial costs to institutions that abuse solitary confinement. These costs could be diverted toward productive measures to secure the safety of inmates within the general population if the use of solitary confinement was limited. In a 2009 report, the California Inspector General estimated that, based on needs for increased staffing and greater physical space, the annual costs per inmate in administrative segregation averaged at least $14,600 more than the annual costs per inmate in the general population.52 The California Inspector General concluded the overuse of solitary confinement
reform/pdf/segregation_directive.pdf 48 DiMarco v. Wyoming Dep't of Corr. Div. of Prisons, Wyo. Women's Ctr., 300 F. Supp. 2d 1183 (D. Wyo. 2004), rev'd sub nom. Estate of DiMarco v. Wyoming Dep't of Corr., Div. of Prisons, 473 F.3d 1187 (10th Cir. 2007). 49 Id. at 1187. 50 Id. at 1189 51 Id. at 1194-95 52 California Office Of The Inspector General, Management of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Administrative Segregation Population, Office of the Inspector General State of California (Jan. 2009), available at http://www.oig.ca.gov/media/reports/ARCHIVE/BOA/Reviews/Management%20of%20the%20Califo rnia%20Department%20of%20Corrections%20and%20Rehabilitation's%20Administrative%20Segreg ation%20Unit%20Population.pdf
cost the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation nearly $11 million every year.53 Funds spent on the inappropriate and abusive use of solitary confinement could be used to establish and implement basic policies and procedures aimed at preventing sexual abuse and other forms of violence. Such reinvestment of scarce resources would lead to much safer confinement. They would also prevent the negative physical, emotional and mental consequences inmates who are inappropriately placed in long-term solitary confinement endure. Corrections administrators should be encouraged to begin shifting expenditures in this direction. Conclusion Solitary confinement affects many people incarcerated in U.S. jails, prisons, and detention facilities, but none so significantly as transgender inmates and immigrant detainees involuntarily confined not because of their actions, but because of their identities. A full review of the inhumane practice of solitary confinement and its far-reaching consequences cannot ignore the experiences of these extremely vulnerable groups of people. The United States must discontinue the discriminatory use of solitary confinement for housing transgender inmates and immigrant detainees. Prison officials and staff must commit to changing the dangerous and abusive conditions of the general prison population, rather than punishing transgender inmates and detainees for their very existence. By creating prison environments sensitive to the experiences and identities of transgender inmates and detainees, sexual abuse reporting and enforcement becomes transparent. We applaud the Committee for taking this important step by holding this hearing. However, important work still remains to ensure transgender inmates and detainees are exposed to solitary confinement only in extreme and rare circumstances, and never for prolonged periods. Sincerely, Transgender Law Center National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund National Center for Transgender Equality National Center for Lesbian Rights National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health Sylvia Rivera Law Project
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