How Identification Policy Revealed Male Prisoner’s Identity as a Female
Gender is one of the important characteristic of a human being which contributes to the biological, physical and social identity of an individual. However, sometimes due to various reasons an individual conceals his or her sexual identity from the society.
In the world of crimes, the criminals usually conceal their gender to prevent being identified from the law enforcement agencies.
An interesting case of concealed gender has been discovered in the Maine, United States, where, a man sentenced to 40 years in prison for murdering his parents and stabbing his dog to death has claimed a trans identity and is now listed as a female.
According to the Maine Department of Correction (MDOC), Andrew T. Balcer (24), was registered as a male inmate. However, later the updated records identified Balcer as female and included a new photo of him with long, black hair in a side ponytail under the name Andrea.
Balcer was sentenced in December 2018 for the double murder of his parents, Alice and Antonio, on 31st October 2016. As a teenager, he stabbed his mother nine times in the back with a hunting knife before murdering his father, who had woken up after hearing his wife’s cries.
Balcer also stabbed the family dog to stop it from barking and left his elder brother alive. After the murders, Balcer called 911 and claimed that he just “snapped.”
During the jailhouse interview Balcer alleged that he stabbed his parents due to physical, emotional and sexual abuse. However, his brother Christopher, denied all the accusations made by him.
Balcer also alleged that his parents refused to accept his gender identity as he knew he wanted to be a woman since he was 3 or 4.
He claimed that being raised male, combined with fears of being subjected to sexual abuse, led him to murder his parents that night.
According to a chief forensic psychologist from State Forensic Services, Debra Baeder, “Balcer accused his father of making a negative remark about trans-identified individuals the night before the murders, which led to a confrontation.”
It has been reported that a policy implemented by MDOC in 2020 requires Maine correctional facilities to provide inmates with clothing that aligns with their chosen gender identity, including chest binders and push-up bras. However, it is not clear if the facility housing Balcer provided him with women’s undergarments.
As more states are starting to house trans-identified biological men in women’s prisons, female inmates who have been raped or sexually assaulted in the past have raised concerns about their welfare.