I’m about to get out of prison. It’s been over 10 years. While I am going home I still have to jump through all kinds bureaucratic bullshit to finally walk out the door. Well, bureaucratic and political bullshit.
Here’s the process
Find an address that works with my requirements as having committed a sex offense and having to register, but I cannot have maps or access to Google Maps to see what may be available. There are many transitional houses out there, which DOC even pays for 3 months of rent at, as long as you stay a little longer in prison (what in the holy f*** is that about???) but there are virtually no transitional houses open due to the eviction moratorium in place. Neat-o. What is available isn’t available to me as a transgender woman.
Oh, and about being transgender, I could take advantage of programs like FareStart in Seattle, which provides housing while you learn culinary skills and even assists with job placement… sounds wonderful considering the job market needs these days…only I can’t go there unless I pretend to be a man again. Well, let me accurately state what’s happening:
My counselor (not a therapist, just in title, more like a case manager) won’t submit me to that place because I am a female and they don’t have co-ed housing so in order for *them* to submit such an address I must pretend to release as a man. FareStart will take me just as I am, supposedly.
Like I said bureaucratic AND political bullshit.
So once I find a place that will take me as a sex offender, trans, and be cheap enough for me to afford and in the county I need to go to…I submit the address to my counselor. They approve or deny. If approved, next step, it goes to the parole board, they approve or deny, next step, I get assigned a Parole Officer or CCO, they have 30 days to conduct an investigation where they will approve or deny the release address, next step, their boss or “Field Administrator” does the exact same thing. Then, back to the board for final approval. If at any point it gets denied, I start from scratch. Each time I go through this process it takes about 60 days until I am able to walk out the door, maybe a little longer.
It cost the state about $3.99 dollars an hour (maybe more) to house me in prison. You’d think they’d make the process less difficult on personal opinions, guess not. If at ant point anyone gets upset with me or some political jargon they see on TV that morning I could pay that price and not go home. Sucks.
This is making me anxious as f***!
Plus, there is the fact that I haven’t shopped, driven, sat on a couch (or anything other than an office chair), worn street clothes in over a decade. I’m nervous ya’ll, real nervous.