Transgender Law Center is representing Shiloh Quine, a transgender woman held in a California men’s prison. Shiloh was denied gender-affirming surgery as well as clothing and cosmetics that are restricted, under state prison policy, to inmates in women’s facilities. We are arguing that the prison system’s discriminatory actions and policies violate fundamental constitutional guarantees, including the Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and the Equal Protection Clause.
The First Amended Complaint was filed December 10, 2014. The law firm of Morgan Lewis is pro bono co-counsel.
In her complaint, Shiloh requested an order requiring that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) provide her with sex reassignment surgery as a medically necessary treatment for her gender dysphoria and access to commissary items available to CDCR inmates housed in female facilities.
After several months of discovery, including depositions, interrogatories, requests for documents and disclosure of expert testimony, Shiloh and CDCR engaged in pre-trial settlement negotiations in July 2015.
On August 7, 2015, Shiloh and CDCR reached an agreement in which CDCR acknowledged that several medical and mental health clinicians, including two independent mental health experts determined that sex-reassignment surgery is a medically necessary treatment for Shiloh.
The settlement agreement states that Shiloh shall be referred for genital sex reassignment surgery (surgery to transform the appearance and function of Shiloh’s genitals to appear as female); after her surgery, Shiloh will be placed as a female inmate in a CDCR facility that houses female inmates; and CDCR will also allow her access to items designated for female inmates only.
As part of the settlement, the CDCR also agreed to change its policies so that transgender prisoners can access clothing and commissary items consistent with their gender identity and to revise its policies regarding transgender inmates’ access to medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria, including surgery.