Tag Archives: Salem

You is special: Oregon judge rules transgender prisoner must have transgender cellmate or be housed alone

Brandy Hall…aka Brandon Wayne Nelson

The transgender inmate, “Brandy,” is in jail for the following crimes: rape, sodomy and sex abuse.

From Oregon Live: A judge this week ordered the state to house a transgender female inmate in a cell separate from male inmates and to protect her from harassment.

The decision for inmate Brandy Hall is believed to be a first in Oregon at a men’s prison, both state officials and Hall’s attorney said.

It paves the way for other transgender inmates to make the same request unless the Oregon Department of Corrections creates an overarching housing policy for transgender and intersex prisoners, said attorney Tara Herivel.

Hall “is a woman in a male prison and I think at a very basic level, that is understood as being extremely dangerous and problematic by most people,” Herivel said.

“But this is an area where as we’re expanding our ideas as a culture of what gender identity is, it’s also really expanding in the legal arena and I think this is a very important first step.”

Hall filed a habeas corpus complaint in June 2018 challenging her incarceration at the Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla, contending the state was violating her constitutional rights by refusing to address physical and sexual harassment she endured.

She also sought to receive medical care via gender reassignment surgery and to be in a prison that corresponds with her gender identity.

An order Wednesday by Circuit Judge J. Burdette Pratt in Umatilla County calls for Hall to be housed either in a single cell, have a transgender cellmate or one who doesn’t identify as their sex assigned at birth.

The Corrections Department showed a “deliberate indifference” to Hall’s safety by placing her in a cell with male inmates, he said.

Since April, Hall, 34, has been at the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem, where she initially had a transgender woman as a cellmate but now has no cellmate. She first entered Two Rivers in 2009 and has had male cellmates.

Hall was convicted of sex crimes in 2007. She transitioned while in prison. Her earliest release date is in May 2021.

Hall was diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a condition when people identify as a gender different from the one they were assigned at birth. Hall has presented as a woman since 2014 and has been on hormone therapy since 2016, according to court records.

One of the treatments for gender dysphoria is gender reassignment surgery, Hall’s complaint said. She was approved for the surgery by a corrections review committee last September, but the surgery hasn’t been arranged.

A guaranteed way to change your gender…

The judge said corrections officials “must do everything within their ability” to stop other inmates from verbally or sexually harassing Hall and to prevent staff from doing the same.

But Pratt also found that Hall didn’t prove the Corrections Department violated her constitutional rights. He stopped short of overturning the state’s decision to deny Hall’s request to be transferred to the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, the state’s only women’s prison.

The judge determined that prison officials weren’t indifferent to her safety in that instance because a Corrections Department committee that addresses the needs of transgender and intersex inmates considered her request and factored in Hall’s 2007 criminal convictions, which included sexual abuse of girls.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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Oregon lawmakers introduce bill to eliminate proof of legal residence requirement for driver’s licenses/IDs

Oregon has automatic voter registration at the DMV. To ensure only US citizens vote, the Oregon Secretary of State web site states, “The Elections Division will only send OMV Cards to people who have provided documentation that they are U.S. citizens. Oregon voters are also required to attest to their qualifications –including citizenship — at the time they submit their ballot.”

As reported by Oregon Live: Oregonians should not be required to prove they are U.S. citizens or legal residents to drive a car.

That’s the premise behind a bill filed in Salem this week by a bipartisan group of state lawmakers. If passed opens the door for non-citizens to obtain legal Oregon driver’s licenses, learner’s permits or general identification cards. It wouldn’t apply to commercial driver’s licenses.

The Equal Access to Roads Act would amend state law to allow drivers to submit a statement saying they have “not been assigned a Social Security number” instead of producing documents proving U.S. citizenship or legal residency. Qualified applicants would still have to pass a driver’s test and show they live in Oregon. The bill would not apply to learner’s permits or commercial driver’s licenses.

The bill comes as Oregon in July 2020 will begin issuing driver’s licenses that comply with the 2005 REAL ID Act, which requires states to verify citizenship and add other security features for state licenses. Either a federally recognized form of identification like a passport or Real ID card will be required for any passenger to board domestic flights starting in October 2020.

Proponents say the bill is a logical move that will benefit all Oregonians who are either unwilling or unable to comply with those federal requirements, not just those undocumented workers who may rely on cars to get work, school or elsewhere around the state.

Rep. Diego Hernandez, D-Portland, one of HB 2015’s five chief-sponsors, said it makes sense to give all Oregonians an option other than paying more money for a Real ID starting next year. “Many people are impacted by these strict requirements,” Hernandez said, “including the elderly, domestic violence survivors and immigrants.”

He said that having access to driver’s licenses without producing additional paperwork eliminates a roadblock to getting an essential piece of identification.

If approved, the bill would be effective January 2021. Oregon would still have two licenses if the bill dies in Salem – a Real ID compliant one and a non-Real ID card. The bill removes the legal residency requirements for the non-Real ID license while adding additional civil protections so driver’s licenses holders can’t be discriminated against for not having a Real ID.

Gov. Kate Brown issued a statement in support of the bill. “As a mixed urban and rural state, many Oregonians depend on the ability to drive to support their families and go to school, the doctor, and the grocery store,” Brown said. “Increasing access to driver’s licenses means more Oregonians will safely access their jobs, education, and the services they rely on.“

The bill comes more than a decade after Oregon last issued eight-year driver’s licenses to residents without requiring they produce documentation proving they are citizens or legal residents.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!

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