Hunger strike unless transgender prisoner moved
NZ Herald 26 August 2015
The Department of Corrections is defending its position on transgender prisoners, as an advocate group threatens a hunger strike.
No Pride in Prisons will begin the strike tomorrow if trans woman Jade Follett is not removed from Rimutaka Men’s Prison, despite asking to be moved for months.
The group had received a letter from Follett on July 31, in which she said she had requested to be moved to a women’s prison five to six weeks earlier.
“We are very worried about Jade,” No Pride in Prisons spokeswoman Jennifer Shields said.
“Although she’s a very strong woman, we know that a men’s prison is not a safe place for a trans woman.”
The group cites a 2007 University of California Irvine study of Californian prisons, which found that trans women were 13 times more likely than the general population to be sexually assaulted in men’s prisons.