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Trans woman inmate reported abuse by prison guards. She was moved to a men’s prison

Patrick Kelleher May 19, 2021
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Transgender prisoner Rae Rollins

Rae Rollins was moved to a men's prison after filing a lawsuit. (Envato Elements)

An incarcerated trans woman from New Jersey was moved to a men’s prison after she filed a lawsuit claiming she faced abuse in her original women’s facility, her lawyer has said.

Rae Rollins was moved from Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in Clinton to the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, which houses male inmates, despite the fact that she is a woman. The 25-year-old is now the only female inmate at the New Jersey State Prison.

The move came despite the fact that the New Jersey Department of Corrections previously recognised Rollins’ correct gender when it placed her in a female correctional facility, according to CNN.

In March, Rollins filed a lawsuit in which she asked that she be moved to another women’s prison after she claimed she was attacked by guards in January.

Rollins’ lawyer Oliver Barry told CNN that she is seeking “a voice, an opportunity to seek redress under our Constitution for the rights and privileges that are supposed to be afforded to everybody.

“Our stance is it is not appropriate for Ms Rollins to be housed in a male facility, and are in discussion with counsel with the Department of Corrections on how to address that.”

Trans woman Rae Rollins and other inmates were allegedly ‘struck, punched and kicked’ in prison

The move came after Rollins claimed she and other inmates were attacked by guards in Edna Mahan’s Restorative Housing Unit in January.

Inmates were reportedly pepper-sprayed and struck during the incident, while some sustained serious injuries. So far, 10 officers have been charged as part of the investigation into the attack.

Barry said Rollins was “struck, punched and kicked” in the attack and sustained injuries. She subsequently filed a lawsuit asking that she be moved to another women’s prison after the attack.

However, before her case could be heard by a judge, the Prison Rape Elimination Act Accommodation Committee decided to move her to the New Jersey State Prison.

The attorney general’s office said the committee opted to move Rollins to “a male facility consistent with her assigned sex” on 28 April, according to CNN.

A recent study from the National Center for Transgender Equality found that trans women in California are 13 times more likely to be sexually assaulted when placed in men’s prisons than their cisgender counterparts.

 

 

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