Once she gets past the rape thing, she’ll be a queen

Mansfield Frazier says he is a former convict.  He served his detention in a federal prison, according to him.  He has written an opinion essay about what life will be like for Chelsea Manning in prison, which the Daily Beast has published, adding the following disclaimer:

This article is an opinion piece written by a former convict and based on his perceptions of life in federal prison.  In its original version, it suggested that prison rape is rare.  In fact, according to the advocacy group Just Detention International, 200,000 adults and children are sexually abused in American detention facilities every year.  This trauma can carry serious emotional and physical consequences, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and the risk of exposure to sexually transmitted infections.

I’m going to respond to Mr. Frazier, not form the point of view of a prisoner in a federal facility, but from the point of view I personally have.  I’m a transgender woman who formerly worked at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, the facility that Manning will probably get to call home for the next substantial number of years.

The USBD is not your typical federal prison.  All the inmates are or were members of the military.  Most of them are there for the “crimes” of excessive AWOLs, desertion, dereliction of duty, or disobeying a direct order.  These are crimes that would get you fired if you were not in the military.

Remembering that, and the fact that it could just have well have been me behind those bars, was the only thing that kept me sane while I was working there.

The USDB is not the sort of place that Mr. Frazier served in and as such, he would have been wise to shut the fuck up from the start.  But he didn’t.

The question of how Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning) will fare in a male prison now that the WikiLeaks informant has come out as a transgender individual is impossible to answer with any degree of certainty.  It could be terrible.  But based on my personal experience serving time in federal prisons-and in contrast with the horrible images of repeated sexual assault that many have no doubt conjured up already-transgender and gay inmates are often treated quite well.

In the current version of the essay, there is mention of the fact that transgender women are 13 times as likely to be sexually assaulted than other inmates according to the DOJ, which does not oversee the USDB.  The rate of assault in federal prisons that the DOJ does oversee is greater than one out of three.

Frazier immediately follows that by saying discounting the statistics.  He suggests that transgender inmates (we know not how many he has been acquainted with) do well to get into a prison “marriage”, finding a “big, dreaded prison dude known as ‘Bubba.,”  who will protect his property.

Or she might decide she needs to find a pimp while in prison so that she and her “Bubba” can make a prison fortune “as the johns line up outside her cell to pay for her sexual favors.”

One thing is almost a certainty: celibacy probably won’t be an option for Chelsea Manning, but she will have choices in regard to how she wants to spend her years behind bars.  With that said, we need to keep in mind that one person’s prison is another person’s palace.  Chelsea Manning could become the queen bee.

She’ll be a queen.  All she has to do is lay back and “enjoy it.”

The reality is that Chelsea Manning will likely be placed in protective detention (solitary confinement) for most, if not all, of her sentence.  THat means she would not have to worry about the other prisoners, just the guards.  

When I served at the USDB, there was separate housing for prisoners who had been officers (we were expecting Lt. Calley, but he never arrived), but I doubt Manning will get sent to that.

She has virtually no chance of getting gender confirmation surgery during her incarceration, so serving in a women’s prison is extremely unlikely.  And, as said in a comment yesterday, the usual prison philosophy on hormones is that if a prisoner was on them before conviction, the prisoner is allowed to continue them, but new prescriptions are unlikely.


    • Robyn on August 24, 2013 at 00:02

    …from the ignorance people choose to display to the world.

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