Target: Charles E. Samuels, Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons
Goal: Give transgendered prisoner full access to proper medical treatment
Chelsea Manning is in prison for the next 34 years for violating the Espionage Act, meant to prohibit anyone from tampering with the army’s ability to do its job. While serving in Iraq, he released a large amount of classified documents to the public. He did so after being diagnosed with gender identity disorder, and feeling victimized by the army. During his trial, he stated that he identified as a woman, and wanted to begin gender transition therapy. The jail stated that they would allow him to go through basic gender transition. However, now he has been in prison for over a year and has yet to receive any treatment for his transition.
There are many transgendered people in prison who feel that they are not receiving the adequate treatment to deal with their specific needs. Transgendered people are housed in the wrong prison, called by their birth names and not their changed names, and often feel that they are misgendered by the staff. Other issues arise when people go to prison in the midst of their gender transition. For example, they are not given the hormones that they need, or the prison will refuse to increase the dosage throughout the process, which is what would happen if they were not incarcerated.
Throughout history, prisoners have not been able to access the healthcare that they need. As prisoners, they are supposed to receive the bare healthcare that they require in order to maintain their health and live comfortably. The topic of transgendered care is fairly new, and as more and more people—and more and more prisoners—require this type of care, prisons need to create a more comprehensive way to care for them.
By signing the petition below, you will be calling on the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Charles E. Samuels, to help create a more standardized system for caring for the specific health needs of transgendered prisoners.
Dear Director Samuels,
Health care in prisons has always been a controversial topic. Many people feel that prisoners deserve better health care than they currently receive. Many prisons do not adequately provide health care. A new topic surrounding this is transgendered prisoners, such as Chelsea Manning.
We are writing to you today to tell you that we believe prisoners deserve better access to all health care, including the specific health care needs of transgendered prisons. Whether it be housing them correctly based on their decided genders or allowing them to have all the hormones that they need, we believe that it is the prison’s responsibility to give its prisoners the ability to maintain whatever gender they want. It is your responsibility to create a change in that culture.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: QuiteUnusual via Wikimedia Commons