while all eyes are on California's prisons

let's not forget about some less-reported news--the constant and systemic sexualized violence against trans women in the prison system.

CeCe McDonald, a trans woman incarcerated in Minnesota for defending herself against assault, issued a call for support for fellow incarcerated trans sister Jenni Gann:

In the latest issue of the Black & Pink newspaper there was a section titled: “Advocacy: Help a Sister Out!” where there is a request to help an incarcerated B&P leadership circle-member by writing letters to the warden at Kern Valley State Prison. So I want everyone to do what they can to help her. Here is the info and sample letter to help out our sister Jenni Gann. Actually this is the whole article and what B&P is calling for people to do:

Hello everyone,
If you would like to write a letter to support Jenni, an incarcerated B & P Leadership Circle member, below is a sample letter. You can write to the Warden at the address below. Please note: This is not the correct address for Jenni, please do not write to her directly at the below address, it will not reach her, and will not help her cause. Though we all may feel anger and rage about these issues, calm and respectful letters will be most helpful at this time. Thank you everyone who can help out.
-Ian, B & P Free World Leadership Circle

Sample letter:
to: Martin D. Biter, Warden
Kern Valley State Prison
3000 W. Cecil Ave
P.O. Box 3130
Delano, CA 93216-6000

re: Searches of Inmate J. Gann #E23852

Dear Warden Biter,
I hope this letter finds you well. I write to you today to express concern for one of the people incarcerated at Kern Valley. Jenni (John David) Gann is an inmate at KVSP, number E23852. As a transgender woman, she has repeatedly experienced sexual harassment during cross-gender strip searches. This has included ridiculing her anatomy, threating her, and exposing her to male inmates.

I write to you out of a personal concern for Jenni. I also write as a member of Black & Pink. Black & Pink is a nation-wide organization of over 2,500 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) prisoners and Free World allies. We recognize that, unfortunately, LGBTQ people are often targeted for unfair treatment in prison. We work to stop all discriminatory treatment, including that which Jenni is experiencing in your institution.

I appeal to your position of leadership at KVSP. Please see to it that this sexual harassment stops and does not continue. Please refrain from strip searches unless absolutely necessary; have female staff perform these invasive searches; and, at the very least, conduct all searches in a professional manner that respects Gann’s status as a person, and her particular status as a transgender woman in a men’s prison.

Thank you for your time and attention to this. Please feel free to contact me, and I look forward to hearing that this issue has been resolved appropriately.

(your name)

As a supporter of B & P and as a (trans) woman I am asking that everyone do all they can to help Jenni. I know that with the help and support of all my friends and family and even all the supporters nationwide and worldwide who have helped me with being in prison it had made a big difference in how I’m treated by staff and other inmates, and that’s because people got involved by calling and writing and making sure that I’m treated fairly and I’m as safe as I can be, considering the fact that I am in prison. But I can say that the experience could have been way worse than what it is without help from outside supporters.