- Kenn W. Kiser/morguefile
- A new report documents mistreatment suffered by transgender people in the U.S. justice system.
Transgender people end up behind bars at a much higher rate than others, and once there they are subjected to harassment, abuse and violence. That's according to a study by the Movement Advancement Project and the Center for American Progress.
Policy and Research director Naomi Goldberg says 21 percent of transgender women have been in jail or prison, as well as 10 percent of transgender men, while only five percent of the entire adult population has. She says once a transgender person does run afoul of the law, their research found they aren't treated properly.
Goldberg says once they're released from prison, there's a lack of support for people who have a criminal record to find jobs and housing, so many people just end up back behind bars.
She says transgender people face a lot of discrimination, meaning the cards are stacked against them.
"Very few surveys ask about gender identity or gender expression," she added. "In many places across this country, transgender people lack equal protections in housing, in employment accommodations, in employment and in terms of being able to access an accurate gender marker on their birth certificate or drivers license."
She says one in five has experienced homelessness because of discrimination and family rejection.
Goldberg feels eventually there will be acceptance.
"The growing understanding of what it means to be transgender and the more visibility that transgender people in our communities have, I think the more comfortable and familiar society will be," she said. "And certainly my hope is transgender people will no longer be targeted and singled out."