I am going to make an argument that your tax dollars are best spent, in regards to inmate rehabilitation, on actual rehabilitation efforts which includes identity affirmation. However, before we delve into that, let me break something down for you.

What if the Secret Service was only effective 65% of the time? How about police or social workers or doctors? What if they were only effective 65% of the time at most? Would you, the American public tolerate that? I doubt it. Prisons have recidivism rates that range anywhere from 83% to 35%. That means that prison, at their best, effectively operate, in rehabilitation, 65% of the time at their absolute best. The reality is, most cook their books and according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics “2018 Update on Prisoner Recidivism: A 9-Year Follow-up Period (2005-2014)” over a nine year period the recidivism rate for inmates is at a dramatic 83% despite some states claiming a 35% rate.

Rehabilitation is a very big deal. Prisoners (me) need to come out of this place better people, not worse or unchanged altogether (the worst outcome in my opinion). I have taken steps to correct my behavior and cognitive functioning, but not everyone does. It just so happens that a major part of rehabilitation is self acceptance…anyone care to challenge that notion?

If you are not comfortable in your own skin and do not get the necessary help or tools to cope with the stress of low self-esteem or ones sexuality or Gender Dysphoria, let alone potential childhood trauma and even adult trauma let’s throw on top of that prison violence and its stresses, which is by design and how in the hell is someone supposed to release back to the community healthy?

Don’t you, and quite frankly me too, deserve better? I think so.

Part of effective inmate rehabilitation is identity affirmation. Some get outraged at the thought of Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) being done at the tax payers expense, or at all, but have no problem watching their dollars get wasted on ineffective programs that are ridiculously overinflated both in overall effectiveness and cost. At least with SRS one major cognitive problem is actually being solved, money well spent. For many, hormone therapy is enough and SRS is not necessary, for some need surgery. Let me give you one last analogy, then I’ll stop.

Let’s say we are a house, and we have to fix some things. So the government condemned our house until the proper repairs are made. So we go to the space where our houses are either destroyed or fixed, its up to us. But when we get put on this block, this prison, we have two sets of tools to choose from: 1. Hammer and nails or 2. Sword and shield.

Sounds easy enough to choose but you cannot repair what you must protect and if you are busy trying to accept your identity, or protect yourself from predation, or from whatever, you cannot effectively concentrate on fixing anything…especially when the person you are fixing isn’t even the right gender.

I will say this, I am glad that some are watching how their “tax dollars are spent”, good job. I would like to say you’re better late to the cause than never, and thanks for finally showing up, even if you are pathetically ignorant of the reality of how your tax dollars are wasted on faux rehabilitation programming and unnecessary policing tactics meant to ensure job stability instead of your safety. But hey, at least you can sleep safely tonight because my shirt is tucked in and I can’t wear eye liner.

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With Love
Jeff aka Ruth Utnage

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Jeff aka Ruth Utnage 823469 D-610-2
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Name: Utnage, Jeff (though I am legally Ruth)