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Va. transgender inmate in solitary confinement

A transgender woman convicted of drug trafficking has spent six months in solitary confinement in a Virginia jail because officials believe she would be raped by male prisoners.

Thirty-five-year-old Maria Benita Santamaria was born a man but lives as a woman. In August she pleaded guilty to trafficking 10 pounds of methamphetamine. For the past two years she has been undergoing hormone treatment in preparation for a sex change operation.

Santamaria was willing to risk being in general population but jail officials kept her out.

Now, however, she'll be moved. Earlier in December Santamaria was sentenced to nearly six years in prison. A judge ordered her sent to a federal prison that can provide transgendered treatment and counseling.

-- Associated Press

By Washington Post Editors  |  December 31, 2009; 10:49 AM ET
Categories:  Prison Beat , Virginia  
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Next: Crime and justice in 2009: A look back


Sometimes transgender inmates want to be in open population because of the access to sexual encounters.

Posted by: 123cartoon | December 31, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

A judge ordered her sent to a federal prison that can provide transgendered treatment and counseling.

How about it just goes to a prison, Period. Want to know where all you're tax money goes. Maybe the judge should pay for the transgendered treatment and counseling.

Posted by: gpl2411 | December 31, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

In in your best interest, "gpl2411", that this woman gets out of jail physically and emotionally healthy and capable of reintegrating society.

Otherwise your oh-so-precious taxpayer money would be paying not just for her time in jail, but also for all sorts of ugly consequences when she gets out.

So, yes, transgendered treatment and counseling. It's best for all of us she get proper treatment.

Posted by: v2008 | December 31, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

That is outrageous. I am all in favor of training and/or teaching prisoners skills, but a sex change? Really? On our tax dollars????? What next? Why don't we buy them a house too! They get better healthcare than we do!

Posted by: rzecca201 | December 31, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Why is this person being referred to as she, just because he chooses to live as a woman? Isn't he still a man?

Posted by: loved1 | January 1, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Why should we pay for a drug dealers sexual preference, put him in general population in a cell with "Big Bubba", real simple dont do the crime if you aint got the time...

Posted by: FrankMonzon | January 1, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

As I watch the "Twilight Zone" on the Sci Fi Channel and reading this article, I know, we are living in the "Twilight Zone".

Posted by: Ward4DC | January 1, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

To answer your question @ loved1..Since he has made a transition (assuming he has his boobs already) then yes referr to him as a she.

Posted by: shirlefoster | January 3, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

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