The Electric Commentary

Thursday, February 02, 2006

So at what point do they transfer them to the women's prison?

This is one of those "your tax dollar at work kind of stories."

"Four male Wisconsin prisoners who are trying to become women will continue receiving hormone treatments until at least August despite a state law prohibiting the practice, which took effect last week."

"The law - believed to be the only one of its kind in the country - prohibits tax dollars from being used to fund either hormone therapy or gender reassignment surgery to treat a condition known as gender identity disorder. The four inmates assert that stopping their treatments would be a form of cruel and unusual punishment. They also claim it violates their right to equal protection under law."

"The legal battle over Wisconsin prisoners with the condition began in 2003, when an inmate, who was born Scott Konitzer but now goes by the name Donna Dawn Konitzer, filed a federal lawsuit against the state Department of Corrections. Konitzer sought gender reassignment surgery, which the state has never allowed and can cost $10,000 to $20,000. Konitzer, who is serving 123 years for multiple armed robberies and for stabbing another inmate, has been receiving hormone therapy as treatment for gender identity disorder since 1999.

When legislators learned of Konitzer's suit, they wrote the Inmate Sex Change Prevention Act, which was enacted Jan. 6."

The ACLU and Lambda Legal have filed a suit challenging the constitutionality of the law. Even if these dudes (dudets?) do have a constitutional right to equal protection etc., can't we take those rights away from them when they are convicted, with all necessary procedural due process, of say... multiple armed robberies and a stabbing?

(HT Boots and Sabers)


  • Did you mean the insult to be "dudets" as in duds, or "dudettes" as in female dudes, Danny-boy?

    I'm sure those spelling skills and empathies have nothing to do with why you're not a teacher. It's the damn union you didn't like, eh?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:38 PM  

  • ps. your argument re. tax dollars, based on reasoning not morals, would be much more effective without the insult, fwiw. You might read up a little before opining.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:41 PM  

  • "Did you mean the insult to be "dudets" as in duds, or "dudettes" as in female dudes, Danny-boy?

    I'm sure those spelling skills and empathies have nothing to do with why you're not a teacher. It's the damn union you didn't like, eh?"

    Shit, I knew that looked wrong. But I did not intend to make any insult. You think that whether I made a typo while writing a slang word makes me too stupid to be a teacher? Are you kidding? Maybe I should copy and paste stuff written by other people into comment sections without giving credit. Would that be cool? Would I be smart then? Pffft. Whatever.

    "ps. your argument re. tax dollars, based on reasoning not morals, would be much more effective without the insult, fwiw. You might read up a little before opining."

    What insult? Seriously.

    Okay, now why don't you try arguing substance?

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 3:12 PM  

  • Regardless of whether or not gender identity disorder is legit, I fail to see how the law in question is unconsitutional. Their claim is cruel and unusual punishment. Preventing the state from paying certain medical bills is almost certainly not cruel and unusual punishment, especially in instances when the people in question are perfectly free to pursue treatment through private means, as is likely the case here.

    Would it be life-threatening to stop the treatment? I doubt it. Hopefully resident EC psych expert Scott H will chip in his comments. I suspect that the states power to suspend treatment in certain instances is quite great, for instance, I'm fairly certain that being in a state of incarceration probably removes you from the transplant list. If that is not the case, it is ridiculous, but I'm fairly certain that it is the case. Being denied a heart when a transplant would save your life is certainly more cruel, however, I'm quite certain that it is within the state's power to deny a felon this heart (whether or not it is actual state policy).

    Finally, not everything on this site is analyzed by the letter of the law. Much of it states what the ideal situtaion would or should be, and why. If I had my 'druthers, I would deny most care to felons serving time for violent crime, especially if their sentences are life sentences, but that is not the law.

    The bottom line is that if these people wanted to change their genders, they should not have engaged in criminal activity.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 6:12 PM  

  • Incarcerated people can pay for things out of their own private bank accounts, or ask family members for cash, or try (probably in vain) to get insurance. The state owes them nothing.

    Using this reasoning, no prisoners in jail should be treated for diabetes or heart disease or cancers, right?

    Not "no prisoners." Some prisoners. Do you want to spend tax dollars to put a murderer through cancer treatment? Can you justify this in any way?

    Says you.

    Damn right. It's my blog. Jackass. My opinion is worth whatever information is used to back up that opinion. The fact that I say it reflects in no ways on the merits of said opinion. If the blowhard is making a good case, then I accept the compliment. If not, then you obvioulsy don't have a good conception of how arguments are formed. Such a pity.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 6:36 PM  

  • "Using this reasoning, no prisoners in jail should be treated for diabetes or heart disease or cancers, right? If you do the crime, you forfeit your right to ongoing medical treatment."

    No, it would mean the diabetic wouldn't have his treatment paid for by the state. What's wrong with that? If I were a diabetic I would just make damn sure that I had enough money to pay for treatment when I was in the slammer before I committed any crime. Or I would make sure my insurance policy would cover me even if I went to jail. Most do.

    I would like to make it clear that I have nothing against those with gender identity disorder and I recognize that it is a legitimate disorder. My problem is with prisoners. They choose to commit crimes. Why should the state pay for things like this for them when it wouldn't for a non-criminal?

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 6:48 PM  

  • "Also, just because a prisoner can pay, you ok with a prisoner getting out for treatment? OK with bringing in anybody they can pay for to treat them? I'm not."

    I am.

    "Them bad peoples deserve what they get."

    If you think this sums us up at all you are dead wrong.

    "More health care costs if you don't treat."

    Explain this little bit of economic genius to me? There are many reasons to treat someone. Saving money is not one of them. Dieing is cheap. Living costs money.

    "You know, sometimes innocents can get convicted too. You ok with a potential death sentence for that by withholding proper medical treatment? Careful what you wish for, we don't live in bubbles, yet."

    This is truly tragic. But it is a problem with the judicial process. And I admit it is a big problem.

    No one is angry and neither of us is a hater at all.

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 7:07 PM  

  • I never said that they have to go untreated. They just have to pay for it.

    The "jackass" comment, in context, was substantive. And also kind of funny. It's too bad that you couldn't see that.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 7:10 PM  

  • Derve, I think you may have jumped to some kind of conclusion about my (and Paul's) politics, particularly on social issues, that is way off.

    You should peruse some of the more socially conservative blogs (i.e. Badger Blog Alliance, Brian Hagedorn’s blog. Both are in the sidebar) and see what kind of comments we leave there.

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 7:11 PM  

  • "You're kidding me. If I have enough money to pay for a stay at Mayo for any "disease" my doctor diagnosed, you're ok with that? Different treatment for the rich prisoners -- what if they want to serve out their sentence in a PT respite? Still ok with that?"

    I'm not kidding you. I would be fine with this. They should pay for the armed guards too though. I'm guessing this wouldn't be utilized too much.

    "When people don't treat, they end up incurring larger medical bills later in time. If that prisoner you choose not to treat gets out, guess who is paying the even bigger bill for their now overdue medical treatment? If they have no resources, the taxpayer."

    Perhaps sometimes. But most of the time they die early. This, though tragic, is inexpensive. And again, why shouldn't these people pay for their own treatment?

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 7:28 PM  

  • "Is this continuing logic fair 'and if they can't pay for it, they have to go untreated'?"

    The answer to this is "sometimes." Or better yet, "life isn't fair." Of course I'd love to treat every disease for every person but that isn't possible. Do you think the state should pick up every single tab for every single disease for every single prisoner? Or every single person?

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 7:32 PM  

  • "I have already made the argument, which you're still not getting, that transmittable diseases should be treated. (TB, HIV)"

    It's not that I'm not getting it, it's that I disagree with it. So which HIV treatment cocktail prevents it from being transmittable?

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 7:50 PM  

  • When you blocked anonymous Comments you blocked me too. I didn't have time to sign up until now.

    This topic seems beaten to death at this point, so no need now.

    By Blogger Scott H, at 1:14 PM  

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