More than 20 years have passed since the Supreme Court ruled in Farmer v. Brennan that prisoners could hold prison officials accountable for “deliberate indifference” to their safety. The landmark decision, issued on June 6, 1994, affirmed a constitutional responsibility on the part of custodial officials to protect those in their custody.
Today, however, LGBT inmates – particularly transgender women of color – experience harassment, discrimination, and violence while incarcerated, as well as alarming rates of being sucked into the criminal justice system. Prisoners’ rights advocates claim that the mainstream LGBT movement, now riding high on an unprecedented streak of victories in recent years, has largely ignored this set of concerns. (more…)