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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Gender issues when being arrested or in jail



Gender issues when being arrested or in jail:
I'm gathering information from various web sources for preparing for arrests at protests and other events. Most of the information is from jail solidarity resources.
Be ready to use Solidarity tactics to protect people who are likely to be separated in jail and prosecuted more harshly in court. Non-U.S. citizens, people of color, people who are seen as leaders, people who go limp or use more militant tactics, transgender or queer people, people with visible and non-visible disabilities, people who dress punk or who wear all black, people on probation or parole, and people with prior arrests or convictions are examples of vulnerable people.

from http://www.abolishthebank.org/strike_legalsolidarity.shtml
Note: Remember that people participate in different ways- they may have responsibilities outside of jail or may have special needs. Some people may have children, may be at risk of losing their jobs or of being deported or detained indefinitely under immigration laws, or may be in a high-risk group, such as transgender or disabled persons. This does not make them less radical. Solidarity is also practiced by speaking to the media, relaying messages from people in jail, fundraising, etc. (See Solidarity when others are arrested). Understanding, respect, and support of each individuals situation is also a terrific form of solidarity...
Unfortunately, there is no formula to tell which solidarity tactics will achieve which demands in a jail or court situation. However, planning to act in solidarity has been proven to be the best way to try to take care of each other. You can begin with a discussion (secure from government surveillance, of course) of who will be involved in the action and whether if they are particularly vulnerable to any of the risks addressed above (such as potential immigration problems, dangers specific to transsexuals, and so forth).
Know Your Rights: Being Transgendered in Jail Produced by The National Lawyers Guild, New York City Chapter Mass Defense Committee, www.nlgnyc.org, and The Sylvia Rivera Law Project, www.srlp.org
A Legal Guide for Transgendered, Transsexual, Intersexed and Genderqueer Activists (written for a Canadian/Ontario audience, but helpful for anyone) at http://anarchalibrary.blogspot.com/2010/09/legal-guide-for-transgendered.html

Advantages/Disadvantages to Disclosing Your Status when Arrested
When a person is arrested, if s/he informs the authorities that s/he has an infectious disease such as tuberculosis or an active HIV-related infection, s/he is separated and will not be placed in a cell with other arrested people. If the defendant is physically handicapped, s/he will not be placed in a a cell with other arrested people...
[Jail] Solidarity Demands: Here are some goals for which solidarity has been used, but they are not the
only ones that can be considered.
Equal treatment for everyone in jail and in court: No one should be singled out and subjected to harsher treatment, including repeat offenders, non-U.S. citizens, known organizers, people of color, lebian/gay/bi/trans folks, those more difficult to arrest and remove, and non-cooperators, regardless of whether we receive state or federal charge
s...

Safety and Dignity Inside
TLC [Transgender Law Center] is protecting transgender inmates by working with the National Lawyer's Guild, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, and the San Francisco SheriffÕs Department to improve conditions for transgender inmates in San Francisco County Jails.
TLC participated in the creation of a report on model policies for transgender inmates published by the National Lawyers Guild and the San Francisco Human Rights Commission in 2002. These policies identify common sense steps that County Jail decision makers can take to provide a safe and dignifying environment for transgender inmates.
Since the fall of 2002, TLC and the SF Human Rights Commission have been visiting a SF County Jail with a sizable transgender population in order to monitor conditions among and involve inmates in this on-going work.
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