Transgender prisoners in New Jersey will be held by gender, not gender


The New Jersey State Prison will begin to place prisoners based on their gender identity rather than the gender assigned to them at birth, after the corrections department reached a settlement with a transgender woman who said she was forced to live in a male prison for a year and a half. Prison and become a target of discrimination and abuse.

Earlier this week, system-wide policies and other changes were announced, including the provision of better medical and mental health care for transgender, intersex and non-binary prisoners. Statement from the ACLU of New Jersey.

Sonia Doe, whose real name was concealed in court documents, Sued the New Jersey Department of Corrections in 2019 After she said that after entering the system in 2018, she was held in four different male prisons, despite her “clear and well-documented gender identity” as a woman. In the lawsuit, Doe’s lawyer said that her being put in a men’s prison made her “worry about her safety” and exacerbated her feelings of gender dysphoria. The court documents also described Doe’s alleged harassment and beatings by disciplinary officers.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, Doe was transferred to Edna Mahan Women’s Correctional Facility a few weeks after the lawsuit was filed. According to the settlement agreement, NJDOC will pay Doe US$125,000 in losses and US$45,000 in legal fees.

“When I was forced to live in a men’s prison, I was afraid that I would not survive. Those memories still haunt me,” Doe said in a statement along with news of the settlement. “Although I was still having nightmares at that time, I knew that based on my experience, NJDOC had already adopted substantial policy changes, so no one should suffer the horror I survived.”

As part of Settlement, NJDOC will require staff to use the prisoner’s preferred pronouns and provide “gender affirmative care… which is medically appropriate”. According to reports, this makes New Jersey one of the few states, including California and Massachusetts, to implement housing policies and provide medical services to transgender prisoners. New Jersey Net.

“Although we know that transgender, intersex and non-binary people still face a huge risk of harm, we hope that this policy will lead New Jersey prisons into a life that protects and affirms transgender, intersex and non-binary people. A new era in the world,” said Robyn Gigl, attorney for Gluck Walrath LLP, who represents Doe at ACLU-NJ.

Before NJDOC and Doe reached a settlement, Commissioner of Correctional Services Marcus Hicks resigned due to a state report that found that guards at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility in northern New Jersey used excessive force. Then in January, a false report related to a series of violent cell extractions was submitted.to New Jersey NetThe state’s report also prompted Governor Phil Murphy to announce his intention to close the prison, which is the only female-only facility in New Jersey.

A report New Jersey Net Said that while Doe’s lawsuit was pending, multiple transgender prisoners were transferred to Edna Mahan.

ACLU-NJ Legal Director Jeanne LoCicero said in a statement: “This settlement is made at a time when the New Jersey prison system is under strict scrutiny, and the state needs to make every effort to ensure the detainees’ safety. Dignity, health and safety.” Statement.

“This policy is the beginning and addresses the needs of some of the most vulnerable groups in state prisons. Communities across the state are paying attention to this moment in NJDOC history and working with them. We will continue to work hard to reduce the number of people in prisons and prisons. And advocate the human rights of detainees.”

Doe is no longer imprisoned, according to Inquirer, Which said her lawyer refused to specify when she was released “in order to maintain her anonymity.”



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