Sunday, November 9, 2008

Evaluating and Monitoring Transgender Involvement and Board of Directors

Evaluation/Monitoring: How will we know if transgender involvement and the board of directors will be effective in transforming discriminatory transgender inmate policy?

It is not adequate or sufficient enough to merely implement our policy; we also need to be constantly absorbed in the processes of monitoring and evaluating our policy. It is necessary to monitor factors such as the changes in behaviors, actions, activities and relationship interactions between staff, inmates, and other relevant individuals and organizations with which the policy effects directly. By constantly monitoring the efficiency of our newly develop policy, we can determine in which ways transgender individuals and the board of directors have influenced policy development.

In order to gather information and feedback, researchers could draw a simple random sample of transgendered inmates and distribute confidential questionnaires and/or conduct interviews that target specific issues such as discrimination, brutality and social exclusion, which were previously discovered to be detrimental to the transgender inmate’s level of well being while incarcerated. Furthermore, outcome mapping has become more common in exploring the effects of policy change and focus’s specifically on changes in behaviors and relationships which lead to either effective or detrimental actions. This technique recognizes the interplay and complexity of a situation, rather than a focusing on what caused the behavior which previous outcome and monitoring techniques tended to concentrate on. By using these and other techniques, we are able to examine and evaluate whether our policy is effective.

A successfully evaluation will allow the transgendered inmates rights to be heard and protected. Moreover, their suggestions will be transformed into constructive action. Ultimately, we hope the implementation of this policy will move beyond early intervention in the prison system and rather move its focus towards addressing preventative measures. Furthermore, we hope our policy not only improves the overall well being of the transgendered inmate, but also promotes mutually supportive and inclusive communities. An effective policy will allow the transgendered inmate the ability to advance their individual, economical, physical and cultural development.

Given the complexity of behavior, fluid beliefs and attitudes, it is necessary our board of directors participates in, attends to and critically evaluates the policy as well. It is also their responsibility to report on the barriers, pitfalls and benefits of new policy.

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