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DOJ: prison officials must treat gender identity disorder
DOJ: prison officials must treat gender identity disorder

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] filed a statement of interest [text, PDF] on Friday with the US District Court for the Middle District of Georgia [official website] stating that the Eighth Amendment requires individualized assessment and treatment for inmates suffering from gender dysphoria. The Southern Poverty Law Center [advocacy website] brought suit [complaint, PDF] in February, claiming that the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) [official website] denied plaintiff Ashley Diamond medically necessary hormone treatment and failed to protect her from sexual assault by other inmates at a men’s prison. Although physicians confirmed that Diamond suffered from gender dysphoria [press release] and recommended continuing hormone therapy, GDC claimed that its policies precluded it from moving Diamond to a secure prison for females and continuing her hormone treatment. The DOJ urged the court to find in Diamond’s favor and issue injunctive relief providing for her transfer to a prison for women and her ongoing hormone therapy.

Earlier this week the US District Court for the Northern District of California ordered the California Department of Corrections to grant a transgender inmate’s sex reassignment surgery [JURIST report]. Last month a transgender inmate from Massachusetts filed a petition for certiorari with the US Supreme Court, asking [JURIST report] it to overturn a ruling that denied her the ability to obtain sex reassignment surgery. In February the Florida House of Representatives introduced a bill that would prohibit transgender people from choosing a bathroom [JURIST op-ed] corresponding to their gender identity, instead confining them to use the bathroom [Huffington Post report] designated to the sex they were assigned at birth.