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  1. jmh105

    jmh105 Active Member

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    Are prison inmates housed according to crime?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by jmh105, Jul 7, 2020.

    In my story, I have a transgender man who is indicted for burglary, robbery, and aggravated assault (the latter charge which may be dropped in favor of self-defense). He is sent to a woman’s prison because he did not yet legally change his gender.

    One of his inmates is a woman who is indicted on the charages of arson (no one was hurt) and illegal drug-dealing. In her situation, she sold drugs along with her mother; when her mother was shot and killed by rival dealers, the young woman takes it upon herself to burn down the shooter’s home. Of course, she is caught and arrested for these things.

    While the man’s and woman’s crimes are different, would they still stand a chance of being housed in the same area so they can interact?
     
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  2. NobodySpecial

    NobodySpecial Contributor Contributor

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    Well, you could call and ask a department of corrections and ask how they do it. But since you’re inventing the prison you could also invent the protocol. It’s your story, how much drama do you want out of the situation?
     
  3. jmh105

    jmh105 Active Member

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    Ahahaha no, unfortunately — I’d imagine my local correctional facility would be angry at me for wasting their time when they have more serious things to worry about.

    I’m just concerned about whether or not they’d have a realistic chance of interacting/being housed in the same place. They end up fairly close. ;)
     
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  4. The_Joker

    The_Joker Banned

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    Yes, that's the norm. You generally have minimum, medium and maximum security inmates, with differently colored jumpsuits. Yellow for min, orange for med, red for max being an example. Max is usually reserved for inmates who have shown violence once incarcerated, gang lieutenants or leaders, or so on. Minimum is for non-violent offenders usually. Medium is everyone else, which these people would fall under.

    However, transgender inmates are usually kept seperately, for their own protection. They're commonly attacked or sought after for sexual favors. They'd probably be with snitches, convicted cops and other vulnerable inmates.
     
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  5. jmh105

    jmh105 Active Member

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    Thanks! This is very helpful information. While I did imagine my transgender inmate to have similar problems interacting with fellow inmates, does this necessarily mean his interactions are going to be limited? That is, if he is kept separately.
     
  6. The_Joker

    The_Joker Banned

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    Has he undergone any actual physical transitioning?

    EDIT: Also, I'm operating under the assumption this is present day. Is it?
     
  7. jmh105

    jmh105 Active Member

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    Yep, present day! I’m not great at history pieces. But yes, he has had hormone therapy, so he got some physical changes, with the most prevalent being his voice.
     
  8. NobodySpecial

    NobodySpecial Contributor Contributor

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    That’s why they have a public relations department. Who did you think the press would call with questions?
     
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  9. The_Joker

    The_Joker Banned

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    Then yes, he's almost definitely going to be kept with the protected inmates.
     
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  10. jmh105

    jmh105 Active Member

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    True, but I am no press. I am but a woman. Lmao, but thank you for the suggestion. Maybe one day when I somehow get better at communicating on the phone and in general.

    Yep, I can see why! My only problem is, how would he be able to form any sort of relationship with other inmates if he is, in effect, quarantined?
     
  11. The_Joker

    The_Joker Banned

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    Well, he's likely free to roam with the other protected inmates. Ex-cops, snitches, white collar fraudsters who stole from the poor, they're not likely to give him a hard time. In genpop, the Crips, Mexican Mafia and AB would tear him to pieces.
     
  12. jmh105

    jmh105 Active Member

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    Hmmm, there would be no contact with other inmates in the medium security area? If so, what would you recommend I do with my female character? Since she is charged with drugs and arson, she wouldn’t be of any protected status. What amended charges would you recommend I give her so she and the original character can have more contact?
     
  13. The_Joker

    The_Joker Banned

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    Easy. Have her be a rat.

    Forgive me, I'm not really, uh, familiar with transgender stuff. Are we talking about a woman transitioning into a man? Because if it were the other way around, they probably wouldn't have any contact. Prisons are gender segregated, and s/he is going to most likely be kept with his/her birth sex.
     
  14. jmh105

    jmh105 Active Member

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    Her being a rat would work, especially if the drug-related shooting has to do with rival gangs and any member of that rival gang was in prison at the time of her arrival.

    He is FTM (female to male), and I am not sure if that would complicate things for the better or for the worse. I really want this plot point to work out, and for that to be the case, the two individuals have to at least develop some sort of closeness in prison before they eventually reunite in the real world. The young man’s name and gender designation is still female, but he has begun hormone transitioning...

    Oof, what do I do??
     
  15. The_Joker

    The_Joker Banned

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    Yeah they would most likely be kept in with the females.

    Sounds like you got this wrapped up then.
     
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  16. jmh105

    jmh105 Active Member

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    Thank you, good sir!!
     
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  17. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Potatoes again? Supporter Contributor

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    Work details are a staple of prison movies and TV shows to allow mixing of different categories of inmates, but I don't think they would allow gender-mixing. Just going on a hunch, I would say that a person transitioning from female to male would be more likely to be housed in with their birth gender than someone going the other way. Male inmates are much more likely to sexually assault anyone who is even partially plausibly female than the female inmates are to assault someone who is "butch." Just an educated guess, mind you. Also, if the person is taking hormone treatments there's an issue of whether the prison would still issue them. That was a minor plot point in Orange is the New Black as well as being an issue for Bradley Chelsea Manning when they were incarcerated. (gender neutral pronoun because I'm never sure of how to address these things when referring who has transitioned with regard to their past state. No offense intended if I got it wrong.)
     
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  18. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Contributor Contributor

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    Where is the prison? Canada, USA, UK, Thailand....etc? Not all places are accepting of "different" people. I know there are travel advisories out about safe locations for people with disabilities, people who are LBGT+, people who are of colour to travel to internationally. The last one is the rarest but it's out there.

    I"m just thinking that some max security prisons in the USA are pretty intense, you can watch episodes of "Raw: Lock-Up" online for an idea. In terms of India or Thailand for example, "Locked Up: Aboard" comes to mind.

    They may not address your specific question but they will give you an idea of what happens in prisons. Bear in mind, this is reality television though and some events are exagarrated for dramatic effect.
     
  19. Stormsong07

    Stormsong07 Contributor Contributor

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    I'm a little late on this, but I am a corrections officer at a county jail.
    Inmates are housed by security level, as mentioned above. Burglary, robbery, and agg assault would classify him as max security in our facility.

    Arson Intending Damage to Habitat or Place of Worship is a 1st degree felony (in Texas at least). So again, max.

    Buuut....given the transgender thing, he would be segregated in an individual cell for protective custody (PC). We put ours in Medical Security, which is a long hall of 24 individual cells for those who need frequent medical attention (ie, have a medical condition or injury), those who are just too crazy to put in with gen pop, or those who need PC.

    A way you can have them interact is if she becomes a trusty and is doing constant watch duty in Medical Security. Suicidal inmates are placed on constant watch (ie, someone always outside their cell keeping an eye on them 24/7). We use inmates called trusties/trustees to do this at our facility. Here's an article about them, though it's not exactly the same as how we run our program. https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/crime/article25893445.html

    Anyway, if someone on his row of cells is suicidal and on constant watch, she could be the one sitting in the hall keeping an eye on them, and that would give them a chance to talk through the bean chute. bc.jpg (the slot in the door where we slide the trays through for chow, usually kept open unless an inmate is disruptive.)
     
  20. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Contributor Contributor

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    I get agg assault qualifying for max security but robbery and burglary? Are these non violent crimes? Or do you mean "armed robbery" and "home invasion" type burglaries?

    I gotta admit I can't really understand the USA justice/prison system at all. Judging by reality tv shows like "Life or Parole" you sentence young teens that are like 13 years old to life imprisonment for rape, murder etc. In Canada, the max sentence that is possible for a young offender is like 25 years (and this is EXTREMELY RARE), they usually get like 10 years and then they're paroled into society with conditions. I can't see holding a 13 year old responsible for a crime...I mean, 13 years old?! At that age, I seriously doubt anyone can appreciate the consequences of their actions.

    As an example:

    Canadian:
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/kelly-ellard-killer-of-reena-virk-granted-extended-parole-overnight-leave-1.5256684
    (The point is, she's out now even though her sentence was "life." Ok, it's parole and not freedom but she's still out after 20 years.)


    American:



    I do understand the theory that if you do the crime, you do the time but how many of us at the age of 13 made intelligent, wise decisions? Especially if we did not have loving, supportive family to support us and help us?

    Sorry to go off topic. I should learn what the debate room is for, I guess.....
     
  21. Stormsong07

    Stormsong07 Contributor Contributor

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    If he didn't have the agg assault, he might qualify for medium with just the two other charges. They classify based on the highest crime, esp if it's a violent one.
     
  22. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Contributor Contributor

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    Oh, you meant one person had three separate charges? I read it to mean it was three different people with three different charges.....now I get it. Thanks for the clarification. This is what happens when you respond to an older post.

    Note to self....review the thread again before contributing.
     
  23. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Senior Member

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    Here is an interesting, detailed breakdown of the levels of federal prisons:
    https://www.federalprisontime.com/federal-prison-security-levels

    bit more basic breakdown:

    https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/justice-studies/blog/different-types-of-prisons/

    For State prisons it differs per state.

    Since Texas has the highest prison population of the states:
    https://www.tdcj.texas.gov/documents/Offender_Orientation_Handbook_English.pdf

    Here is some docs for Arizona:
    https://www.law.umich.edu/special/policyclearinghouse/Documents/ADC Inmate Classifiation DO 801OCR.pdf



    From what I've read, it appears most prisoners are at medium level security so it would make sense they both would be at that level.

    Given that each state has different rules, you can pretty much make up your rules.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
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  24. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

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    They do separate out the creeps into their own block. I think you know the types I mean. Otherwise the other inmates will kill them. I've read several prison biographies, and that's what the authors said.
     
  25. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Contributor Contributor

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    I've heard the same.

    I always wondered though, how big are these places that they can house all the violent inmates separately? They need individual cells, they need to be guarded, fed, and have opportunities for recreational activities and outdoor time. There have to be common areas like showers, libraries, work experience sites, right?

    Let's see....former cops, rapists, child molesters, gang members, criminals who have informed (rats), criminals who need protection from other inmates for whatever reason, really high level criminals who can have others killed off with a word and need to be separated from the general population.

    If someone knows, it would be interesting to hear the answer.
     

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