SYSTEMS OF INEQUALITY: CRIMINAL JUSTICE
This diagram illustrates how overpolicing and profiling of low income people and of trans and gender non-conforming people intersect, producing a far higher risk than average of imprisonment, police harassment, and violence for low income trans people.
criminalization of poor and homeless people
- Subject to profiling and harassment; excessive police presence in poor communities; increased exposure to police
- Charged with survival crimes (sex work, drugs, theft, etc.) due to lack of access to gainful employment or education
- Charged with “Quality of Life” crimes like sleeping outside, turnstile jumping, loitering, etc. due to lack of resources (housing, money)
criminalization of trans people
- False arrest for using the “wrong” bathroom
- False arrest for lack of proper documents (by INS, police, etc.)
- Trans women are often falsely arrested for soliciting just for being transgender
Low-income trans people are exposed to arrests, police harassment, incarceration and violence far more than the average person
Trans people suffer additional gender-related harms while in custody of the criminal justice system
- Isolated and/or subjected to increased sexual violence, harassment, and abuse at the hands of prisoners and correctional facility staff.
- Gender-segregated arrest procedures (searches, holding cells, policies and procedures, etc.) do not accommodate trans people. Low-income trans-people are especially targeted due to lack of access to health care that would help them “pass” as non-trans people, as well as surgical procedures, and are commonly misclassified by arresting officers as “male” or “female” based on their appearance or whether they’ve had genital surgery.
- Denied access to hormones and other trans-specific health care while incarcerated. Forced to change gendered characteristics of appearance in prison (made to cut hair, give up prosthetic, clothing). This results in mental anguish and increased exposure to harassment and violence because appearance may conform even less to gender identity.