Monday, August 22, 2011

Family Worried About Transwoman's Transfer To Male Prison

Jovanie Saldana has been transitioning since she was 12.years old, but unfortunately has spent the last 14 months incarcerated in the Riverside Correctional Facility in the Philadelphia area.

The 23 year old Saldana was arrested and charged on June 11, 2010 according a Philadelphia Daily News story for several felonies including an armed robbery that she is facing a court date for next Monday..

As you can see by the photo in which her face is blurred out so that she isn't facing the prospect of sexual assault while being locked up with the 'menz', it's understandable how she ended in the RCF facility.

Saldana is in the news because the Riverside Correctional Facility people only discovered last week that she hasn't had SRS yet.   

She filed a complaint on a corrections officer that she alleges forced her to perform oral sex on him.  In the process of investigating that complaint, while eavesdropping on a three way phone conversation in Spanish between herself, her mother and an unnamed female cousin, her mother was overheard urging her to come clean about her trans status.  As a result she was transferred to a men's prison and an investigation has been launched into how she ended up at RCF.

"We're not quite sure how this mistake originated," said prison spokeswoman Shawn Hawes, adding that "the entire process" is now under investigation by prison and police officials.  Hawes declined comments about the investigation of the guard.

Saldana's mother believes that the transfer to a PPS male facility was a retaliatory and punitive measure because Jovanie filed charges against the corrections officer and her pre-operative status was a cover excuse for doing so.

She might be right.  And judging by previous developments elsewhere, when it comes to transwomen interacting with the penal system, she's got damned good reasons to be concerned about her trans daughter..
Will be keeping an eye on this, because long story short, despite the allegations that's she's had two fights in Riverside Correctional Facility in the 14 months she's been there, y'all should have left her in the female prison.   She's in even more danger of being sexually assaulted since y'all transferred her over to a male facility, and if I were Jovanie's mother, I'd be keeping an attorney on retainer if something bad does happen to her while she's there.

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