Gender identity in the era of mass incarceration: The criminalization and segregation of trans people in the United States

The non-recognition of the gender identity of trans people is a factor of mass incarceration in the United States. The higher rates of incarceration of trans people compared to the general population are driven by discrimination-based barriers to housing, employment, education, and gender-affirming healthcare. The denial of trans identity in prison results in ill-treatments of trans detainees, including a lack of protection from assault and violence. Also, trans detainees are too often placed in harsher conditions than cis detainees. This paper argues that an effective and uniform recognition of the right to trans identity is critical for reducing the criminalization and ill-segregation of trans people. It notably argues that a full recognition of trans identity may crucially eradicate the leading psychosocial cues of crime within this population as well as guarantee their psychological and physical well-being while incarcerated in view of their successful reentry into society.