The way that trans people are housed in detention and correctional settings has come to attention recently, after British comedian Avery Edison was detained by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) for having previously overstayed her visa — and then she was initially sent to a mens’ prison while the issue was sorted out. After an outcry. Ms. Edison was moved to a female facility, but a number of other experiences that trans people have had with CBSA and Correctional Services Canada (CSC) have also come to light.
On Friday, I’d posted an article discussing some of the issues that come into play regarding housing in detention and corrections facilities, as well as a starting point toward a better solution. Hours later, news surfaced of yet another serious housing incident.
Katlynn Griffith was taken to a the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, and placed in a holding cell with four men. She asked to be moved because of concerns for her safety, so she was moved to protective custody. In this case, “protective custody” means that she shared a cell with two accused male sex offenders.
She was finally transferred to a womens’ section of the jail the following morning. CBC reports:
Baxter said while in custody, Griffith was subjected to homophobic slurs from inmates and requests to perform sexual acts and was allegedly referred to as ‘it’ by guards.
The Cracked Crystal Ball II calls this an act of aggression on the part of the guards:
The only way this makes sense is if the guards believe that their role is to mete out arbitrary punishment over and above what incarceration already is.
How often does this have to continue to happen before CSC and CBSA admit that there’s a problem?
Reprising from Friday’s article:
And yet, the solution is far easier than one might expect. Housing trans people “in a way that is not inconsistent with their gender identity” allows for situation-relative options, while still providing dignity for trans people and safety for all concerned…
Extensive discussion at the link.