Case management is designed to look at both the static and dynamic factors that are said to contribute to incarceration and re-offending. Currently, offenders are often given a risk/needs assessment which is used to devise an individual intervention plan (www.publicsafety.gc.ca/).
In terms of transgender inmate case management, the goal is to allow transgender inmates the opportunity to be key participants in decisions regarding how their stay will be. Staying within the anti-oppressive lens, the idea is to shift the power relations away from the system to the individual. Further, it is not fair to assume that all transgender inmates require the same treatment. Where there may be consistencies in desires to access job training, legal services, housing, and welfare benefits, there are gender discrepancies in the perceived need for family, child, and parenting skills (Kenagy, Hsieh, 2005).
Recommendations include self-determination of placement, healthcare, and programs and activities by the transgender inmate. As such, collaboration and coordination are essential. The case worker’s role would be to connect the individual to internal resources, with an emphasis on health care options. This would mean creating partnerships and increasing communication between transgender specialists, clinicians, nurses, doctors, and prison guards within the facility, making community or reintegration connections upon release that may include transgender outreach or support programs, probation or parole officers, and/or external healthcare, and building trust through one to one contact. In addition, the present risk/need assessments need to be evaluated in terms of validity and reliability. It would be necessary for the intervention plan to be revised regularly as well, to take into consideration the diversity in intervention needs.
Producing knowledge about the Trans community is fundamental in creating a safe space for open communication. Case management should be inclusive and empowering. The transgender inmate’s input should be at the forefront of the agenda, after all, they are the experts in their lived experiences.
REFERENCES: Kenagy G.P., Hsieh C. (2005). Gender differences in social service needs of transgender people. Journal of Social Service Research, 31(3), 1-21.