Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $250,000)
Nearly one in six transgender Americans-and one in two black transgender people have been to prison. (Lamba Legal, 2022) Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) has been a leader in the nation working with incarcerated transgender individuals providing gender affirming care to include housing in gender appropriate facilities. Even though we are one of the leading states in the nation on this work, there are still significant challenges and barriers to overcome in assuring sexual safety for incarcerated individuals. This grant proposal is intended to enhance the incorporation of PREA standards into our everyday culture by seeking priority consideration for 1(A) (page 10 proposal narrative) to address racial barriers and challenges associated with the management of transgender individuals within WA State Department of Corrections. Deliverables include hiring a Transgender Housing and Program Manager as a pilot position to focus on four major components 1) Gender responsive housing reviews 2) Navigation services 3) Review and development of policy and process improvements 4) Training and development quality support. Gender responsive housing reviews will identify safe housing options, ensuring programming needs can be met on a case-by-case basis. Navigation services will work hand in hand with the Health Services Navigator helping to promote quick and safe housing placement while meeting health needs. Review and development of policy and process improvements will include a thorough review of current policy and practice, assessing for opportunities to streamline current model, implementing quality control audits, and the development of a comparative analysis to guide decisions moving forward. The new position will aid in launching strategies to reduce misconceptions among staff and incarcerated individuals about transgender and non-binary individuals to improve safety and understanding, as well as, providing future creation/support to the transgender training program. By creating this position, the Transgender Program and Housing Manager as well as the Health Services Navigator become subject matter experts for transgender and nonbinary support within WA DOC to be called upon when needed by correctional facilities across the state. This grant is intended to foster an environment that promotes sexual safety for all transgender and non-binary individuals remanded to the custody of DOC and serve as a change model for the rest of the nation to follow.