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Nov 16, 15

Demand that Niara be transferred to a women’s facility!

From Free Niara

We’re trying to gather support for a call-in day to get our friend Niara transferred to a women’s facility. Niara is a Black trans woman imprisoned for the self-defense murder of a john. Her arrest, trial, and conviction were accompanied by blatant racism and transmisogyny from the media.

This hatred and violence has continued behind bars, with Niara facing brutal exploitation by male prisoners and apathy from prison administration. She has done numerous stints in solitary for arbitrarily enforced prison rules around gender presentation. Most recently, she has suffered repeated instances of rape and physical abuse. Her attempts to address this with prison officials have been ignored.

We are pushing to have Niara transferred to a women’s facility, where she will be free of the exploitation of predatory male prisoners. Niara has submitted requests for transfer to a women’s facility, which have all been ignored. We are hoping that outside pressure will force the prison administration to take her requests seriously.

On November 18th, please call (814) 443-8100 and ask to speak to Superintendent Trevor Wingard and demand that inmate HERMAN BURTON #KU1265 be transferred to a women’s facility. [A ‘script’ with key points you can make is below.] Be firm but polite. If you get an answering machine please still leave a message.

Please check back at for further updates and future actions.

Thank you,
Niara’s support crew

“Hello, I’m calling to ask that inmate Herman Burton (who goes by Niara), inmate ID number KU1265, be transferred to a women’s facility. Housing a transgender woman in a men’s facility endangers her life and is a violation of the national Prison Rape Elimination Act guidelines. Niara has repeatedly experienced rape and physical assault and has then been placed in segregated housing for her own protection. PREA makes clear in section 115.43 that segregation is not a viable solution when there is an ongoing risk of abuse. Niara must be transferred to a women’s facility immediately in order to protect her from abuse without the additional trauma of isolation. Thank you for your time.”

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