Late last week, Southern Poverty Law Center settled their case on behalf of Ashley Diamond, a transgender woman who was denied medical care and sexually assaulted while being held in a men’s prison. Her case, profiled by the New York Times, triggered a U.S. Department of Justice brief supporting medical care for transgender people in prison and led to the end of the Georgia’s “freeze frame” policy preventing transgender prisoners from accessing hormone therapy.
“Ashley’s case, and particularly the statement of support for her issued by the federal government, reinforced a principle that’s shown through again and again, including in successful cases brought by Transgender Law Center: under the Constitution, transgender prisoners must be allowed access to necessary medical care,” said Transgender Law Center’s Detention Project Director, Flor Bermudez.
“Following two lawsuits brought by TLC and a groundbreaking settlement with TLC client Shiloh Quine, the state of California issued the first policy in the country to provide transgender people in prison with necessary medical care, including gender-confirmation surgery. Ashley’s case is one more message to state prison systems that it is time to take action to ensure they’re doing what’s constitutionally required for transgender people in prisons.”