While transgender and gender non conforming (TGNC) people are extremely vulnerable to heightened policing, surveillance, and targeted victimization by the state, there is little research on the experiences of incarcerated TGNC people, and almost no policy explicitly protecting them. Upon release from prison, transgender individuals often find themselves excluded from housing and legal economies, with the trans community being forced to rely on itself for material and emotional support.

This project, in partnership with Black & Pink and Dr. Valerie Jenness at UC Irvine, is conducting surveys and interviews with system-impacted TGNC people to bring their lived experiences to the fore. By internally funding this pipeline project, Vera hopes to lay the groundwork for future research that will further illuminate the experiences of system-impacted trans people.

Project Objectives

  • Collect and understand current data on the experiences and prison conditions of trans & gender nonconforming people who are currently incarcerated.

  • Collect and understand current data centering the lived experiences of trans & gender nonconforming people experiencing reintegration after release from prison.

  • Inform policy that centers the wellbeing of TGNC people across the nation.

Key Fact

As of 2016, although less than 1% of adults in the United States identified as transgender, their rate of incarceration was 3-4 times higher than average.