Trans woman thrown in men’s prison ‘after being assaulted by guards’ moved after outcry
A trans woman who was placed in a men’s prison after she claimed she was attacked by guards has been relocated to an out-of-state women’s prison.
The New Jersey Department of Corrections faced backlash when it relocated Rae Rollins from the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in Clinton to the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, which houses male inmates.
Rollins, 25, was moved to the men’s prison when she filed a lawsuit asking that she be relocated to another women’s prison after she and other inmates were allegedly attacked by guards in January.
She has now been relocated to Pennsylvania’s State Correctional Institution at Muncy, a women’s prison, her lawyer told CNN.
The New Jersey Department of Corrections listed Rollins as being housed in an out-of-state facility on its offender database on Tuesday afternoon (25 May), the news outlet reported.
Oliver Barry, the lawyer representing Rollins, said his understanding was that the process to move his client began last Thursday (20 May).
Barry said he hasn’t been able to speak to Rollins directly since she was transferred to the Pennsylvania facility.
“One of our goals in filing was removal of Miss Rollins from what in our position was an unsafe environment,” Barry told CNN.
“That was one of the items of relief sought in the lawsuit. As of right now, Miss Rollins is no longer in the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility.”
Rae Rollins was allegedly ‘struck, punched and kicked’ by prison guards
The controversy first erupted after Rollins and other inmates at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility alleged that they were attacked by prison guards in January.
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Inmates were reportedly pepper-sprayed and struck during they incidents, leaving some with serious injuries. Since then, 10 officers have been charged as part of an investigation into the attack.
Speaking to CNN last week, Barry said Rollins was “struck, punched and kicked” in the attack and sustained injuries. She later filed a lawsuit asking that she be moved to a separate women’s facility.
Before her case could be heard by a judge, the Prison Rape Elimination Act Accommodation Committee decided to move her to the New Jersey Prison, despite the fact that she is a woman.
The attorney general’s office later said the committee opted to move Rollins to “a male facility consistent with her assigned sex”.
Trans inmates can face greater levels of violence than their cisgender counterparts. 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 in a men’s prison than cis people.