Sunday, November 9, 2008

Transgender Specific Training

Building on the collective social action necessary to promote anti-oppressive attitudes towards transgender inmates, it is essential to change the personal ideas, values and beliefs held by prison staff as individuals. As we have mentioned, transgender inmates are exposed to transphobia behind prison walls. To put an end to the ignorance of prison workers, the collective and individual opinions that currently exist need to be challenged, discussed and deconstructed.

The goal is to eliminate the stigma placed on transgendered inmates from inside the institution by creating awareness and understanding through introducing universal staff training across the nation. This would include mandatory transgender-specific training for all employees who work within any correctional facility in Canada serving both male and female populations.

Recommendations to achieve this goal focus on supplying formal education to workers as well as standardizing training practices. Training would be transgender-specific, formulated with input from the Trans community. To create consistency within Canada, universal training of prison employees would be nation wide so that every employee in each facility would have to meet the same set of requirements. Mandatory training would mean that every person who works in the prison setting MUST receive the training prior to their involvement with the inmate population, whereby the worker is evaluated by the trainers, and is certified if they show the ability to meet training requirements. Training would follow on a continuum where recertification would also be mandatory. Failure or refusal to obtain or recertify in the training would result in a legal decision where the employee would not be permitted to work at the facility until such training is carried out.

Training serves as a way to create a cycle where new ideas simultaneously permeate into the perceptions of prison workers and into the institution as a whole. By breaking down collective and personal ideas, prison workers may come together to promote further understanding of the problems specific to transgender inmates.For information on other transgender specific training initiatives, please visit: , or

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