Limo Service Houston Equal Rights
The Harris County Jail in Houston, Texas has introduced new policies in support of transgender emplo
FOR CLEAN VERSION SEE STORY NUMBER: apus004697
TYNIESHA STEPHENS INDENTIFIES AS A WOMAN.
THAT’S WHY SHE SAYS SHE DOESN’T BELONG IN THIS JAIL CELL.
SOUNDBITE (English) Tyniesha Stephens, 28, transgender inmate in jail on prostitution charge:
“I am feminine, a feminine person, a transgender woman, and some guys look at me, you know, with that eye and I feel very uncomfortable amongst, me, in a male facility.”
THE DILEMMA WHERE TO PLACE GAY, LESBIAN AND TRANSGENDER INMATES IS PLAYING OUT ACROSS THE COUNTRY AFTER
A FEDERAL LAW WAS PASSED TO CRACK DOWN ON SEXUAL ASSAULT AND ABUSE BEHIND BARS.
NOW, MANY JAILS AND PRISONS ARE IMPLEMENTING CHANGES.
SOUNDBITE (English) Torrey Mason, inmate in jail for violating probation of a drug charge:
“It’s about time, relieved, because it’s just, we’re people too, regardless of our sexuality.”
THE HARRIS COUNTY JAIL IS THE FIRST IN TEXAS THAT WILL SOON ALLOW HOUSING BASED ON GENDER IDENTITY.
SOUNDBITE (English) Dru Levasseur, Transgender Rights Project Director Lambda Legal:
“It’s a really telling example that you know one of the first prisons that is doing the policy in line, in complying with the federal standards here is in Texas, if Texas can do it anyone can do it.”
THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT WILL ALSO BE CONDUCTING SENSITIVY TRAINING FOR ITS OFFICERS.
SOUNDBITE (English) Maj. Debra Schmidt, Harris County Jail:
“One of the critical pieces of this policy is reeducating our own employees to help them work through their fears, and their misconceptions and in some cases I’m sure, their prejudices.”
SOMETHING STEPHENS SAYS SHE’S EXPERIENCED FIRST HAND.
THE 28-YEAR-OLD HAS BEEN IN AND OUT OF JAIL FOR VARIOUS PROSTITUTION AND DRUG RELATED CHARGES.
SOUNDBITE (English) Tyniesha Stephens:
“Like there would be officers in there who had grudges against gay people and they would come in here and tear up our stuff for no reason they would come in and talk to us like we’re animals.”
STEPHENS HOPES NEW POLICIES WILL ALSO MEAN NEW ATTITUDES.
WARREN LEVISON, ASSOCIATED PRESS
You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/d4cc6e8de66b2e9a3e440bded3ca5db7
Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork