Georgia Changes Prison Policy after Former Transgender Inmate Filed Lawsuit
Feb 14, 2016 10:27 PM EST
After the settlement over the lawsuit of former transgender inmate Ashley Diamond, the state changes its treatment towards transgender inmates. Georgia is now giving hormone treatment to all of its transgender inmates after being assessed by a medical health professional.
USA News reported that the 37 year old female transgender, who was convicted of burglary, was freed from prison last August. While inside the Baldwin State Prison in Milledgeville, Georgia, she wasn't given her hormone pills resulting to physical pain, muscle spasms and breasts mass reduction. She experienced gender dysphoria as her body is stressed because of the disconnection between her original and wanted gender. It was in her lawsuit that she has been taking pills since she was 17. Though she already said to the Department of Corrections that she is taking them, she wasn't given any because she didn't pass their screening.
Those things were not the only things she went through inside the prison. Diamond was interviewed in 11 Alive and she said she was raped, ridiculed and tortured by inmates and the prison staff alike. She added that it happened to all five state prisons she went to. She also said that the attacks occur every night. "(The staff) turned a blind-eye to it all. I think that the gangs run the prisons. I think that I was extorted and used," she said.
The US Justice department sided with Ashley Diamond and said it was unfair and cruel to deny her of the treatment she needed. The department weighed on it last April and said every transgender should have their treatment like how mentally disabled inmate is getting theirs. Diamond together with Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) was happy about the changes. According to Reuters, the state settled with $250,000 but SPLC denied that and said the amount is wrong. They can't tell the exact amount of the settlement because of a confidentiality they are bound to with the state.
Georgia officially changed their treatment towards every transgender inmate they have. Ashley Diamond is pleased with it and she said in a statement that she will continue to fight for transgender rights whether in prison or outside of it.