Report: Transgenders are “targets” in America

(Photo Supplied/Indiana News Service)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WOWO/Indiana News Service): Transgenders end up behind bars at a much higher rate than others, and once there they are subjected to harassment, abuse and violence, according to a study by the Movement Advancement Project and the Center for American Progress.

Policy and Research director Naomi Goldberg says 21 percent of transgender women have been in jail or prison, as well as 10 percent of transgender men, while only five percent of the entire adult population has. She says once a transgender person does run afoul of the law, their research found they aren’t treated properly.

“Everything from being placed in an inappropriate facility because of their gender identity, to lack of access to medical care to high rates of sexual assault by both staff and other incarcerated people,” she said.

Goldberg says once they’re released from prison, there’s a lack of support for people who have a criminal record to find jobs and housing, so many people just end up back behind bars.

“The growing understanding of what it means to be transgender and the more visibility that transgender people in our communities have, I think the more comfortable and familiar society will be,” she said. “And certainly my hope is transgender people will no longer be targeted and singled out.”

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