Click play for audio version of this story
The New Jersey Department of Corrections has transferred a woman who is transgender out of a men’s prison after 17 months two weeks after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the state.
The suit was filed under the pseudonym of Sonia Doe.
“Sonia Doe has been subjected to unconscionable conditions in men’s prisons. By committing to transfer her, the DOC has begun to address these harms,” said ACLU-NJ Legal Director Jeanne LoCicero. “While the case continues, we are hopeful that the DOC will act quickly to draft and implement policies that meaningfully protect Ms. Doe’s rights and the rights of other transgender people in prison.”
According to the ACLU, the transfer to a women’s prison will occur no later than the week of September 15.
The lawsuit alleges that Doe was beaten by guards at Northern State Prison.
“Studies indisputably show that transgender people face violence, sexual abuse, and mistreatment within prison walls at rates far higher than the general prison population. The NJDOC’s decision to finally move Sonia Doe to the proper facility is welcomed, but the harm against her has already been done,” said Garden State Equality executive director Christian Fuscarino. “New Jersey’s criminal justice system needs significant reforms to protect transgender people, including a clear policy that guarantees individuals be housed in facilities in accordance with their gender identity. We fully support our partners at the ACLU of New Jersey to secure justice for this woman.”2019.08.14_Doe_Stamped_Filed_Complaint