QDEP will be initiating a new campaign entitled Shutdown the SHU. The SHU stands for segregated housing units.
WHAT IS THE SHU: SHU is where detainees get places in isolated living cells with inadequate access to health care, medicine, therapy, food, exercise, and socialization. According to Black and Pink research, 85% of LGBTQI respondents reported that they have spent time in the SHU.
WHY IS THE SHU SO BAD: People who experience SHU have reported numerous mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, anger, insomnia, hallucinations, paranoia and an increased risk of self-harm.In fact, A 1995 study of the federal prison system found that 63 percent of suicides occurred among inmates locked in SHU.
WHO DOES THE SHU IMPACT: Transgender Women of Color are disproportionately affected by SHU. This is because TWOC are often put in centers with male detainees and are susceptible to sexual violence. In fact, in the U.S., transgender women are 13 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than other detainees. Consequently, they are placed in the SHU, as justified by guards, for their own ‘protection.’
We will be writing up reports, passing out informational pamphlets, writing petition letters and utilizing social media to inform organizations and legislators on the harm of SHU and the need to form trans- specific detention centers. Keep an eye out!