Kissing Is Forbidden

prison

Just outside the town of Ponce, on Puerto Rico’s southern coast, is a prison for girls. Although the place is named “Center for Detention and Treatment” (Centro de Detención y Tratamiento Social), little by way of “treatment” goes on there. Instead, the Ponce facility looks, feels, and functions in many ways like an adult prison. […]

42 Years After Stonewall, A Look at Policing of Queer and Trans People

captivegendersbook

Forty-two years ago, the Stonewall riot was sparked by a police round-up of trans women and drag queens. Now, a new anthology from AK Press, Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex, shines a bright light on how trans people are still “pathologized, terrorized and confined” by the U.S. justice system. Below, Captive […]

Gender Behind Bars

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Ophelia De’lonta, a transgender woman inmate housed in a men’s prison, is suing the state of Virginia for failing to provide her with adequate medical care. When the Virginia Department of Corrections denied De’Lonta’s request for genital surgery, she attempted self-castration. De’Lonta’s story is part of a much larger picture. It is all-too-common for prisons […]

Accused Rapists Released in Notorious Pakistani Case

2005 Glamour Magazine "Woman of the Year" Awards

It was shocking when Mukhtar Mai was gang-raped by half a dozen men nearly a decade ago, but what surprised the world even more was the courageous decision by this Pakistani woman from the remote village of Meerwala to go public with her rape, breaking a stigma of silence in Pakistan. Mai’s fight for justice […]

Trans Inmate Asks Calif. Prisons to Pay for Sex-Reassignment Surgery

Blurry Prison

Lyralisa Stevens, a transgender inmate in Vacaville, Calif., faces the daily threat of sexual violence behind bars. As a transwoman prisoner, she’s 13 times more likely to be assaulted than a non-trans inmate–and she’s asking the state of California to protect her. In a landmark lawsuit, Stevens wants the state to provide sex-reassignment surgeries for […]

No Jail Time for Lawrence Taylor

Black Eye

Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor will not spend a single day in jail for paying to have sex with a 16-year-old runaway on May 6, 2010, who was allegedly forced into prostitution. She was escorted by her trafficker to Taylor’s hotel room in suburban Ramapo, New York, with a black eye and other facial injuries, where he paid $300 to have sex with her.

Women in Detention Not Protected From Sexual Abuse

Immigrant Women Not Protected from Abuse

Building on the latest charges of sexual abuse to come out of T. Don Hutto detention center in Texas (which I blogged about here), Human Rights Watch has issued a scathing indictment of Homeland Security’s utter failure to protect women from abuse and harassment in detention. Since reports of sexual abuse at Hutto surfaced earlier […]

O Canada: Pay Heed to Tough-on-Crime Policies, Not the National Anthem!

Tough on Crime - Jail Cell

Days after the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, mentioned in his Throne Speech (yes, in Canada that is what it is called) that his government would ask Parliament to potentially change the English version of the national anthem to be gender-neutral–specifically the “all thy sons command” line– this idea was scuttled due to overwhelming […]

Government Negligent in Death of Carswell Prison Inmate

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Linda D’Antuono Fenton, a 34-year-old inmate at the Federal Medical Center-Carswell near Fort Worth, died in 2004 eight days after she was taken comatose from Carswell to the trauma center of a local hospital. She never regained consciousness. The circumstances surrounding her death were loaded with unanswered questions. Now, a federal judge has answered at […]

Roman Polanski, the Undetected Rapist?

Polanski

Merely two weeks after Roman Polanski issued his first mea culpa to the press since his September 2009 arrest, new allegations against the award-winning director seek to ensure his extradition to the United States.