Death of trans sex worker inspired task force to examine conditions in prisons


Layleen Polanco, an Afro-Latinx trans woman and sex worker, was found dead in her prison cell in summer. And this death was so meaningful that it inspired founding of the brand new task force the aim of which is to investigate the conditions for transgender inmates. It will consist of experts from the city’s government and community, and will make recommendations on issues including medical and health treatment, training in gender-affirming practices, housing and targeted programming and resources for trans people in jails, the board of corrections announced at the very beginning of this month. 27-year-old Palamco was arrested on April 16 on a misdemeanour charge. Unable to make the $500 bail, she was imprisoned in the notorious Rikers Island jail. In July, officials ruled the cause of her death was complications from epilepsy. Polanco’s family are now suing the city and several officials for not providing the necessary healthcare for her condition.


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