Transgender Prisoner in Georgia Demands Surgery and Disability Protection


The federal government told an Atlanta judge that Georgia should pay for a transgender prisoner’s surgery to change their gender. The judge is in charge of the inmate’s civil rights case against the Georgia Department of Corrections.

On Monday, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia and other officials from the U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in the case of a transgender woman who is currently in jail and wants medical care and other help for what she says is serious gender dysphoria.

According to the federal government, the situation happens when a person has a lot of distress or problems because their given sex doesn’t match their gender identity.

The 55-year-old prisoner, who is suing as Jane Doe, says that the Georgia Department of Corrections does not allow transgender prisoners to get treatment that changes their gender. The Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the government Rehabilitation Act are all broken, she said.

The government of the United States seems to agree. The report said that gender dysphoria is not one of the disabilities that federal law exempts for “gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments” and “transsexualism.”

Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney general for civil rights at the DOJ, said in a statement, “People with gender dysphoria should be able to seek the full protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act, just like other people with disabilities.”

“The U.S. Constitution says that people who are in jails or prisons must get the medical care, treatment, and services they need for serious health problems.”

Doe’s lawsuit, which she filed on December 6 in a Georgia federal court, says that she has been locked up in men’s prisons since 1992. The reason she is in jail has not been made public by her lawyers.

Transgender Prisoner in Georgia Demands Surgery and Disability Protection
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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was informed by D. Dangaran, one of Doe’s attorneys, that “Ms. Doe’s conviction history is irrelevant to her case.” “Ms. Doe’s conviction history is identifying information, and we have filed under a pseudonym to protect her from potential retaliation.”

According to Dangaran, the federal government’s position in the Doe case is the most expansive one so far, and it “affirms the common sense principle that prison administrators cannot use blanket bans to override the judgments of medical providers when it comes to individual patient care.”

As to Dangaran, the Georgia Correctional Department lifted its prohibition on hormone therapy after receiving a statement of interest from the Department of Justice in a separate action filed by a different transgender inmate in Georgia against state correctional authorities.

According to her 85-page petition, Doe has been held in Gwinnett County’s Phillips State Prison since April 2022. She had identified as feminine since infancy and was diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 2015 while incarcerated at Johnson State Prison in middle Georgia.

The lawsuit claims that despite Ms. Doe’s severe and overwhelming gender dysphoria, the Georgia Department of Corrections has failed to treat her. The plaintiff has attempted castration twice, attempted suicide many times, and self-harms nearly daily.

“Ms. Doe’s gender dysphoria symptoms have been exacerbated by GDC’s refusal to provide her with necessary care. This has led her to believe that she may never be able to live in a body that looks like her gender identity.”

In response to Doe’s accusations, the department sought assistance from the office of Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, which is handling inquiries on the case and the federal government’s position. No one from Carr’s office or the defense team was available to speak right away.

Prison employees, medical professionals, and department heads were all named in Doe’s civil claims against the correctional system.

The Georgia branch of the American Civil Liberties Union filed a brief in the case claiming “widespread failings in Georgia prisons,” which backed her desire for treatment of gender dysphoria.

According to the ACLU of Georgia, “Individuals in Georgia’s custody continue to suffer extensive abuse and maltreatment.” Such allegations were presented to the court. “Jane Doe’s story is a tragic illustration of the problem.”

Despite the recommendations of state-appointed medical experts, Doe claims that prison officials in Georgia have refused her access to hormone medication, the women’s commissary, and gender-affirming surgery, among other things. She recounted the ordeal of having her head shaved bald by prison department workers after they restrained her as her hair grew out.

While detained in men’s prisons, Doe claims she was the victim of decades of severe abuse at the hands of both correctional officers and other convicts because of her transgender identity. She is now requesting a transfer to a women’s institution. According to her, Doe was put in solitary confinement as a result of the maltreatment by the prison department.


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