On May 12, a federal judge heard an emergency motion in a case charging the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) with violating the constitutional rights of Ashley Diamonda Black transgender woman currently incarcerated in a men's prison in Georgiaby failing to protect her health and safety, according to a joint statement from Southern Poverty Law Center and The Center for Constitutional Rights.
Diamond sought an emergency order of protection and an emergency injunction following persistent harassment and repeated sexual assaults (reportedly at the hands of GDC staff, among others), the denial of gender-dysphoria care and repeated retaliation against her after she reported the abuse.
"Being a trans woman in a men's prison in Georgia is a living nightmare," said Diamond. "What's happened to me is horrific, and every day I remain in this situation I remain in danger. Georgia is failing to keep me safe. They put a woman in a men's prison. What did they think would happen? I'm asking the court to protect me."
According to the organizations, Diamond sued GDC in 2015, triggering significant reforms in the treatment of incarcerated trans people in Georgia and nationwide. In her previous lawsuit, Diamond sued over the same issues: placing her in men's prisons where she was sexually assaulted nearly a dozen times (resulting in a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and denying her medical care for gender dysphoria, including necessary hormones.
Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a statement of interest in the case, describing the responsibilities of prison officials toward incarcerated transgender people under the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
More information about the case can be found at www.splcenter.org/seeking-justice/case-docket/ashley-diamond-v-timothy-ward-et-al and ccrjustice.org/home/what-we-do/our-cases/diamond-v-ward-et-al .