A black transgender woman is filing a lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Penitentiary, accusing officials of not being protected from alleged sexual assault and not being provided with “adequate health care” behind bars. Ashley Diamond, a prisoner at Savannah Coastal State Prison, filed a similar lawsuit against the ministry in 2016.
The Center for Constitutional Rights and the Legal Center for Southern Poverty filed a lawsuit on behalf of Diamond on Monday. Diamond, who was released from prison in 2015, was jailed for committing parole last year.
According to the lawsuit, Diamond has been placed in male prisons, where he has allegedly been abused more than 14 times in the past year by inmates and prison staff. The lawsuit alleges that he was also sexually harassed and denied the necessary treatment for sexual dysphoria, which led to a suicide attempt.
“Being a woman in a male prison is a nightmare,” Diamond said in a statement. “My identity has been broken. I never feel safe. Never. I experience sexual harassment every day, and fear of sexual violence is always a threatening thought. I am bringing this lawsuit to change my name to create a community that deserves the simple existence of inherent dignity. . “
Joan Heath, a spokeswoman for the Correctional Department in Georgia, said the department did not comment on ongoing lawsuits.
In 2015, Diamond filed a lawsuit against transgender inmates for the Georgia Department of Corrections ’policy on the freezing frame, which allowed only inmates to continue the treatment they received before they were sentenced and prevented them from starting new treatments. Diamond, who was diagnosed with sexual dysphoria as a teenager, said he could not continue his hormone treatment.
The Ministry of Justice said the practice was unconstitutional and said the Eighth Amendment required prison officials to take care of inmates ’sexual dysfunction. Diamond settled a lawsuit against the state in an undisclosed amount in 2016, and the Georgia Treasury Department has completed its policy according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“The worst kind of déjà vu is to sue Georgia for accountability for the transgender abuse because Ashley Diamond has been on this path once before,” Ezie Chinyere, a lawyer at the Center for Constitutional Rights, said in a statement on Monday. “Ashley won so many rights for trans-prisoners in a lawsuit in 2015, shocking and horrific that five years later, imprisoned trans-people are still being sexually abused, denied the necessary medical care, and destroyed. We hope that with this lawsuit , the cruel and unusual treatment will end today. ”