At any given moment, an estimated 80,000 people are caged in solitary confinement in the United States. Transgender people are often placed into solitary confinement solely on the basis of their gender identity, both within the criminal incarceration and immigration detention systems. While prison officials frequently justify placing transgender people in solitary “for their own protection,” those in solitary confinement often suffer extreme isolation, serious mental heal consequences, and restricted movement and privileges and are routinely denied access to necessary medical care. Today, the US Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights will hold a hearing on the human rights, fiscal, and public safety consequences of solitary confinement.
Transgender Law Center joined several allies in submitting testimony on this topic and calling for an end to the practice of solitary confinement and instead for facilities to fully implement policies to protect LGBT people from abuse – including housing transgender people in accordance with their gender identity, as required under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).
The hearing will be webcast live and archived on the Senate’s website, and our testimony is available below.