I really don’t know how to write this email, yet I am calling on you..As many of you know I am currently incarcerated at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility where inmate safety and abuse have been hot topics. Today as a transgender woman, I feel compelled to bring something to your attention before it gets any worst. I hope that we can work together to implement just and fair results that ensures the safety of all inmates at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility.
Just today I was informed by a staff that two men were coming from the male institution, the other officers were already saying things like the individual is 200 pounds and 6’2, they were mocking the situation which only pissed me off. It was a joke to them, and I felt as if them walking around with the inmates face sheet was wrong. They looked at me and said “this is what you started”.
I later learned that yes indeed two inmates where being transferred to EMCF from male institutions and they were both coming from solitary (RHU). I won’t be ignorant and say that these are men, yet I will be fair and say that there are serious concerns of who they allow to come to this facility and who is emloyed by the NJDOC PREA compliance unit. The Department would benefit from having a mental health team assist with the diagnoses and treatment of transgender inmates. Yet as current various issues have arisen in the past and I myself have witnessed the fraudulent behavior of some, most notable was a inmate who has now been discharged, for months the inmate acted out and at no time did the department think it would be a safer option for the inmates at EMCF to have the individual reviewed for a possible transfer. Hence I share the concerns of other women here who are not being heard.
My platform, and WWW.justice4demi.com is not just for me to get justice, I hope to speak up about issues that impact all of our safety and that are of general concern. What is happening needs to be reviewed, again ignorance does not help, hence when the system has already engaged in a practice of ignorance its obvious that these recent matter may also be a situation that will get worst before it gets better. I refuse to remain. silent, a lot of the women huge built trust with me which is why when I was approached yesterday, regarding these recent transfers I made sure to listen and really understand the views of the other women here. The prison could benefit from holding classes or maybe even approving a few groups to at the very least explain transgender issues to the inmate population. Yet this is no being done, as a result their remains a gap between both communities, but at this time when things are about to get a little hectic, I beg that all advocates come together and help educate NJDOC. No one safety should be compromised because of politics.
People don’t just wake up and become transgender their gender identity is something that is deep within them and that has been their internal sense of who they are for most of their life. Hence one of my biggest fears is that manipulation and bad intentions is about to be used for men to gain entry to Edna Mahan Correctional Facility, a already struggling institution. This has occurred before with another inmate Baberick, and during the inmate state I no only witnessed the sexual inappropriate behavior but I also witnessed the dangerous combative assaultive behavior that posed a management issue at EMCF, numerous windows broken out of the frames, doors kicked off the hinges, and no one did not do anything as the inmate yelled “I am a grown ass man.”
Its understandable for Transgender women who are in transition and suffering abuse in the male facility to seek a transfer to a safer facility in line with their gender-identity, I get it..And I say that with confidence because I am transgender and have lived this life for since a child.. I live in this community and I know what reflects us I know the mental health implications and issues that we face as a community. Yet let me be very clear, we are more than a name more than a headline and damn sure more than someones experiment. That being said, NJDOC has a policy and should be considering various factors prior to transferring a transgenders to EMCF, this means considering their behavior and institutional adjustment, it also means considering if they have been compliant with thier medical treatment as well.
I had to already live around a fake transgender for several months, who came to this prison and literally destroyed state property, kicked doors off the hinges, broke through windows and attempted to lie on staff, and even had a substantiated PREA allegation against them. So I have every right to be fearful of what lies ahead for this department. Again this is the impression that has been left here when it comes to transgenders. Its a disservice to continue to not train the inmate population about respect for these women and to not give serious consideration for transfers back to ones facility when these serious behavior issues arise. Its a disservice to myself, other women and staff, when you the system fails to adequately and thoroughly screen these request and train staff on how to interact with such individuals.
I never said send men who want to game the system to a women’s prison, and my follow transgender sister who recently settled with NJDOC never envisioned her policy or efforts to gain safety would be used to perpetrate fraud yet its clear that this maybe happening and once again the population feels hopeless. A population ignored for far to long.
Today as a Transgender women who has been abused and suffered years in the system I am standing with the cisgender women and saying enough is enough, safety needs to be at the forefront of every action that NJDOC takes.