a couple weeks ago the LAPD announced the opening of a 24-bed "transgender pod" in the downtown LA city jail. there was media blitz hailing this as a major step forward for trans community-police relations. division captain dave lindsay said it would allow for "an environment that’s safe and secure, as there’s been a history of violence against transgender people." 2 things to know:
1) this is not a new transgender jail/prison; it's temporary holding cell for when people get arrested and are awaiting arraignment. the max anyone would stay in this unit is 72 hours. if they are convicted, they get sent into general population jails run by the county. (ie trans women sent to mens jails etc) so this is mostly a gesture, not a solution. you can read that here:
City jails are designed for holding people only until they are arraigned in court on the charges for which they were arrested, typically a maximum of three days; then they are transferred to the Los Angeles County Jail, run by the Sheriff’s Department. The changes do not apply to the county jail.
2) while still a necessary response to the extreme risk posed by incarceration, transgender-segratated prisons are the wrong goal. i might've thought this would be self-evident, but after talking to regular progressive folks in LA (ie not trans activists) i realized there's a general misperception that the law actually protects trans people - whereas in reality, trans people suffer the most violence through the criminal justice system - in jails, by law enforement/parole, etc. you can read a LOT about that here. so in other words putting energy into building trans prisons, is like putting energy in the expanding the thing that hurts us most.