Here is part 1/7 of a documentary titled “Cruel and Unusual” on male to female transgender (MtF) persons in corrections:
The rest of the documentary is available via YouTube.
It is an interesting documentary that opens with the argument that the mistreatment of transgender individuals amounts to “cruel and unusual punishment” – hence the title of the documentary.
I am reviewing it as part of a consultation I’ve been doing for a couple of months now dealing with sexual minorities in corrections. You can see from watching the documentary that significant challenges arise in the juvenile justice system (which are not covered here) and in prisons in terms of responding to those who experience gender dysphoria.
The responses to these challenges can become polarizing, with one side charging the other with making demands for accommodations that smack of “political correctness” to them; the other side can run the risk of marginalizing the very staff that they are meant to train and educate.
In my work so far, I have found it helpful to note that those who are incarcerated are serving their sentence by virtue of being in corrections. They are not to be further punished through violence, sexual assault, or other forms of mistreatment. These forms of mistreatment – particularly sexual assault – are of significant concern especially to sexual minorities (those who experience their sexual identity or gender identity in ways that are different from those in the majority).
This has been an thought-provoking topic for me as a Christian who studies sexual identity and gender identity issues. If you are particularly interested in this topic, you might read this post in which I discuss T.J. Parsell’s experience as he shared in his book Fish.