Transgender Inmate Count and Housing Placement

Kathryn Sosin Oeser filed this request with the Division of Corrections of West Virginia.
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Communications

From: Kathryn Sosin Oeser


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

A complete and accurate count of all transgender inmates currently in custody in the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation as mandated to be recorded by the Prison Rape Elimination Act including:
-the number of transgender women in custody
-the number of transgender women who are housed in men's facilities
-the number of transgender men in custody
-the number of transgender men who are housed in women's facilities
-the number of transgender people who are taking hormones

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Kathryn Sosin Oeser

From: Division of Corrections

Please find attached the WV Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation's FOIA response.

Thank you.

Suzanne Y. Summers, Paralegal
Division of Corrections & Rehabilitation
WV Department of Military Affairs & Public Safety
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Building 1, Room 400W
Charleston, WV 25305

  • 5.7.19 WVDCR FOIA Response - MuckRock - Transgender Inmates

From: Kathryn Sosin Oeser

Hi Suzanne,
Thank you so much for this timely and thorough response. Can you clarify the state's definition of "transgender men" and "transgender women" based on these answers? I only ask because they are not in line with other states in terms of distribution, and I want to make sure we have the same definition. Thank you so much!

From: Division of Corrections

Below please find the WV Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation's definition of transgender:

A person whose transient or permanent gender identity (i.e. internal sense of feeling male or female) is different from the person's assigned sex at birth. A transgender individual may or may not qualify for a clinical diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria depending on the individual's level of distress or impairment.

Suzanne Y. Summers, Paralegal
Division of Corrections & Rehabilitation
WV Department of Military Affairs & Public Safety
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Building 1, Room 400W
Charleston, WV 25305

From: Kathryn Sosin Oeser

Thank you, Suzanne. My question is a bit more specific. It's about how the state defines transgender male vs female specifically. For example, most Depts. of Corrections have more transgender women than men in custody. It is almost unheard of for the reverse to be true, so I want to make sure that we are using the same definition. A transgender woman is a person who was assigned male at birth and transitioned their gender to become a woman. Is that the definition that the state is using to come to these numbers? Thank you, again. I really appreciate the quick reply!

From: Division of Corrections

Please be aware that the Freedom of Information Act, Pursuant to West Virginia Code 29B-1-1 et seq. is for purposes of disclosure of public records, and not for discourse or answering of interrogatories. If you have a document request please feel free to submit that to the custodian of records for the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitations, who is the Commissioner. Any request for documents will be answered timely and accordance with statute.

To the extent you consider any part of this response a denial, the responsibility of the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation to respond to your initial request is at an end. If you feel the information contained in this response is contrary to law you may institute an action for declaratory and/or injunctive relief in the Circuit Court of the county in which you assert the records are kept, subject to all jurisdictional procedural prerequisites, which are specifically not waived.
Thank you.

Suzanne Y. Summers, Paralegal
Division of Corrections & Rehabilitation
WV Department of Military Affairs & Public Safety
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Building 1, Room 400W
Charleston, WV 25305

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