Ashley Diamond says she has been attacked no less than 14 times by inmates and prison guards in the past year.
A black transgender woman has filed a lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Justice, alleging the agency’s inaction has resulted in repeated abuse, including sexual assault and denial of health care.
According to CBS News, the lawsuit was filed on Monday by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Southern Poverty Law Center. It is the second complaint that Ashley Diamond has filed against the State Department of Corrections, which settled a similar case in 2016.
Diamond, adds CBS, was released from prison in 2015.
However, she was sent back behind bars for a parole violation last year.
In the 12 months she was detained, Diamond was reported to have been attacked more than 14 times by other inmates and staff at the facility. In her lawsuit, Diamond says she was subjected to sexual harassment and denied “necessary treatment” for her gender-based dysphoria.
Image via Pexels / Pixabay. (CCA-BY-0.0)
The lack of treatment, the lawsuit recalls, resulted in Diamond trying unsuccessfully to commit suicide.
One of Diamond’s biggest complaints is the fact that she was incarcerated in an all-male facility for her biological gender, despite having identified herself as a woman.
“Being a woman in the men’s prison is a nightmare,” Diamond said in a statement. “I was robbed of my identity. I never feel safe Never. I experience sexual harassment every day, and the fear of sexual assault is always a threatening thought. I bring this lawsuit to bring about change on behalf of a community that deserves the dignity of simply existing. “
According to CBS News, Diamond’s 2015 lawsuit related to the Georgia Department of Corrections’ freeze-frame guidelines for transgender inmates. These guidelines did not allow detainees to resume treatment for gender dysphoria until after their sentence had been dealt with. They also prohibit the initiation of new treatment regimens.
In her suit, Diamond says she wasn’t allowed to take the same hormonal supplements she’s been given since she was a teenager.
The Ministry of Justice later found that Georgia’s “freeze-frame” policy was unconstitutional and violated the Eighth Amendment. The state resigned itself to Diamond in 2016 for an undisclosed amount.
Chinyere Ezie, an attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, says Diamond’s experience is a particularly uncomfortable form of “déjà vu”.
“It is the worst kind of déjà vu to hold Georgia accountable for abuse of trans people because Ashley Diamond has already walked that route,” Ezie said in a statement. “Ashley won so many rights for trans prisoners with her 2015 lawsuit. It is shocking and horrific to see that five years later, trans people incarcerated are still being sexually assaulted, denied medical care and perished. We hope that with this lawsuit, the cruel and unusual treatment ends today. “
Back in prison, the transgender woman faces an old horror, a sexual assault
Transgender inmate sues Georgia prison officials for alleged assault
A transgender woman is suing the Georgia Department of Justice on charges of sexual assault against inmates and staff