A trans woman is suing the Department of Correction for housing her in a male prison
A transgender woman in Massachusetts is suing the Department of Corrections for placing her in a male prison facility.
Arguing that the service had violated her civil rights, the 53-year-old woman alleged that she has experienced a breadth of harassment behind bars thanks to the Department of Corrections misgendering her, reports Reuters.
During her time inside, the plaintiff alleges security guards have groped her, and she has been strip-searched by male guards and is being housed with male inmates.
The woman, who is serving time for a non-violent drug offence, has argued that under the Disabilities Act, the prison has violated her rights.
“Anyone could imagine how horrific it would be to be a woman in a men’s facility,” said Jennifer Levi, director of the transgender rights project at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders to Reuters.
“This policy of placing transgender women in men’s facilities is totally out of step with Massachusetts policies.”
The suit is believed to be the first of its kind filed in the state.
The mistreatment of transgender prisoners is something that the UK prison system also shares with its American cousins.
In the last eighteen months, four transgender women in the UK have taken their lives behind bars.
About 80 transgender people are believed to be in prison in England and Wales, according to the BBC, and there are an estimated 50 – 60 transgender people in the state of Massachusetts, according to Reuters.