On August 7, 2014, Solitary Watch published two articles highlighting the abusive treatment faced by transgender women in New York State’s men’s prisons. Two of the women profiled, Dee Dee and Carey, are members of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP). SRLP works with transgender, gender nonconforming and intersex people who are low-income and/or people of color. SRLP’s Prisoner Justice Project has been advocating for transgender people in New York’s jails and prisons for over ten years.
While we were not surprised to read the horrors outlined in the Solitary Watch articles, we hope the publicity will bring attention to our work to abolish the prison system in the long-run and provide immediate safety measures to reduce the harm faced by those presently incarcerated. On August 11, 2014, SRLP, the Trans Women of Color Collective of Greater New York, the National Center for Transgender Equality and the Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York sent a letter to the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision demanding swift action to end the routine practice of isolating incarcerated transgender people. Now we are calling on our community members to take action by reading and signing this petition published by SRLP, FIERCE and the Audre Lorde Project!