Dozens of gender identity and gender equality incidents have been reported in the last several months nationwide in schools, something that really bothers parents of young children. While the discussions about gender related topics in young people are becoming more and more heated in schools, the same applies to trans adults, who have become pretty vocal recently in seeking more rights.
Laws vary from state to state, and transgender people have different benefits and rights depending on the state laws in the places they live. However, almost every single state has issues when it comes to trans inmates. Few months ago, Americans learned about the case of the 40-year-old K. Z. Brown, a transgender inmate who had already made the full transition from male to female. Brown was initially placed in a male-only prison where she spent several years, but even though she was transferred to a female-only center after several requests, she filed a lawsuit against the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for allegedly violating her transgender inmate rights by denying her access to gender-affirming care.
Another case involving transgender inmates recently gained national attention after it was revealed that a transgender woman who was placed in a women’s-only prison was transferred to a male facility because she impregnated two inmates during her lengthy stay in the women’s-only facility.
Demi Minor, 27, is serving a 30-year sentence for manslaughter in New Jersey and is eligible for parole in 2037, according to NJ.com, which broke the story first. The corrections department records indicate that Minor “was surprise transferred to Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in 2020 while earnestly requesting hormones and gender-affirming items, things supply chains didn’t exist for in a men’s prison.”
However, last month, Minor was moved to Garden State Youth Correctional Facility, a prison for young adult offenders, after it was confirmed that she had impregnated two inmates since the start of this year. The Department of Corrections spokesman, Dan Sperrazza, told the outlet that Minor is now the only woman prisoner on the site after she was moved to the vulnerable unit at the facility. Sperrazza refused to provide further details of what had happened prior to Minor’s transfer, citing privacy policies. However, the spokesperson confirmed that there are several trans female inmates currently housed at Garden State Youth Correctional Facility even though it’s a men-only facility.
The public initially learned in April that two women had become pregnant at the prison through consensual relationships with a trans prisoner. Minor’s identity was not immediately revealed to the public, but the story became instantly popular since the state prohibits consensual sexual relationships among prisoners.
The Department of Corrections’ decision to place Minor in a women’s-only correctional facility is not an isolated case. Until last year, the department followed its strict policy of housing inmates according to their gender given at birth. However, in June 2021, the state agreed to house most trans inmates according to their gender identity and to provide gender-affirming care as a part of the settlement the state reached with a trans inmate after they filed a lawsuit. Per the lawsuit, the main reason the trans inmate sought the change was the frequent assaults and harassment she experienced from both staff and fellow inmates while she was housed at a male-only prison.
The state and the inmate who filed the lawsuit agreed that last year’s decision should remain enforced for at least a year. Although more than a year has passed, the state continues to operate under this policy. Meanwhile, officials with the Department of Corrections confirmed that “minor modifications” are expected to be made very soon, which means that the state probably plans to continue operating under the policy in the future.