Skip to main content

Interesting word, hoosegow.  Etymology Online says it is probably a mispronunciation of the Spanish juzgado:  tribunal, court…past participle of juzgar:  to judge, from Latin, judicare:  to judge.

Gene Dickerson, 39, is a transgender state inmate in Dallas, Pennsylvania state prison.  Because of Pennsylvania prison rules, she is housed, of course, with a male population.  

Dickerson has filed a lawsuit in federal court, alleging unsafe living conditions because of her transgender status.  She also alleges that she has suffered harassment and discrimination at the hands of Department of Corrections officials because of her gender.

Dickerson says that DOC officials have failed to screen her cellmates for transphobia and homophobia, thereby exposing her to dangerous situations.

Dickerson was originally arrested for petty crimes.  She is currently incarcerated because of a parole violation.  She is eligible to be paroled again in April of 2015.

She has had five different cellmates  who have either assaulted her, sexually harassed her, or threatened bodily harm.

One cellmate said, "I'm in the cell with a faggot" before trying to commit suicide.

I was still forced to live with this inmate an additional three days.

--Dickerson

A Muslim cellmate told her he disapproved of her gender identity before telling staff , "If you don't move me, I'm going to fuck this dude up."

A DOC official threatened to disclose her private medical information to the entire prison population if she continued to file complaints.

Officials also threatened to perform invasive cavity searches, including an enema, if  she didn't cease filing grievances.

Dickerson has requested to be housed with her cousin, Deon Stafford, who is also an inmate at the prison.  Officials refused that request without explanation.

All I have is my cousin, to make sure no one bothers me due to my [transgender status].

--Dickerson

Her lawsuit claims that DOC staffers have "intentionally and maliciously placed me in dangerous situations."

She is seeking a temporary restraining order to stop the harassment and intimidation by the DOC staff.

She filed the lawsuit pro se last month.  The case has been referred to Us Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson.

The DOC spokesperson,Susan McNaughton, has declined to comment both on the case in particular and whether or not the DOC screens inmates for transphobia before placing them in cells with transgender inmates.

Asked about the possibility that transgender inmates be housed in individual cells for safety purposes, the McNaughton again had no comment.

Originally posted to TransAction on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 04:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Invisible People, Voices on the Square, and LGBT Kos Community.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site