Monday, October 24, 2011

Jovanie Saldana Update

I talked about Philly's Jovanie Saldana, who has not only found herself locked up for over a year on $15,000 bail while awaiting trial for an aggravated assault and other charges, she found herself being transferred to a male prison unit from the female one she'd been housed in.

Jovanie has been transitioning since age 12 and it was discovered she was a pre-operative trans person in the wake of her filing charges against a guard for an alleged sexual assault.

I discovered that the corrections officer in question was cleared of the charges (surprise, surprise) and a cis female prisoner housed with Jovanie for five weeks is now suing the city of Philadelphia for 'violating her privacy'.  

According to this Tara Murtha story in the Philly Now blog,  the Philadelphia prison system has a policy that addresses transgender inmates beyond sorting by genitalia only.  Policy 3.E.7. states that “the classification of transgender inmates, or inmates who are “intersex,” will be determined by the Classification Unit in partnership with the medical and behavioral heath services providers.” After evaluation, transgender inmates are classified as either confirmed (wherein the transgender status of the inmate is supported by legal and/or clinical documentation, regardless of sexual anatomy) or unsubstantiated.

Jovanie was classified as 'unsubstantiated' and is now in isolation in that male dominated facility with her trial scheduled to start on Halloween (no joke) after being postponed six times since February 2011

Stay tuned, will keep you posted with any further updates on this one.

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