State may be violating rights of transgender inmate, judge rules

Boston Globe
June 15, 2018

The Massachusetts Department of Correction may be violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and the US Constitution by housing a transgender woman in an all-male prison, where she alleges she has been groped and taunted by male prisoners and guards, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

In a strongly worded opinion, Judge Richard G. Stearns of US District Court in Boston rejected the department’s bid to dismiss the inmate’s lawsuit, which seeks to have her transferred to the state women’s prison, MCI-Framingham.

Stearns wrote that the inmate, a non-violent drug offender who has lived as a woman and taken female hormones for 40 years, is likely to prevail in her argument that her incarceration in a men’s prison violates the disabilities act and the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection.

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