Sunday, October 26, 2008

Impacts of Case by Case Policy

It is a human right for transgendered people to be treated fairly and without discrimination, to have equal rights and opportunities and be recognized for their dignity and worth. Yet, all transgender people in prison are handled on a case by case basis where there is likelihood for personal interpretations of the policy to be projected by prison professionals that fluctuate from one case to the next.
Consistency in a structured environment such as prisons helps to create norms within that environment; consistent practices and principles normalize everyday conduct, attitudes and behaviours. Each transgendered person in prison, however, is scrutinized as an individual and treated separately from others often from a transphobic mindset. When each case is managed differently there is a lack of consistency both in the treatment and the outcomes. It causes confusion, perplexities and uncertainties about the norms pertaining to transgendered inmates. The variance in outcomes also makes it hard to distinguish the best way to go about solving the problem.
Prison professionals may use the inconsistencies as an escape route for their decisions and treatment towards a transgender inmate where they blame the system, not themselves for the discrimination. Other inmates may feed into the lack of consistency and see it as a doorway for justifying their transphobic ideals as well. A case by case framework may be detrimental to a transgender inmate in that they may internalize the negative ways in which they are treated, where their self-worth and self-esteem are diminished. They may also generate mistrusts towards prison professionals. Handling these issues case by case may also cause a divide between other transgender inmates whose experiences with the process are drastically dissimilar.
A universal law may not account for all the injustices faced by a transgender inmate, nevertheless, it may be a good place to start in order to establish a standard in which prison staff are held accountable for any mistreatments, and to abolish multiple interpretations of the policy in any given case. Assembling standards may assist in regulating and normalizing more positive perceptions about transgender inmates and help to protect them from harm.
For more information on human rights and sexual orientation, please visit:

No comments:

Post a Comment