DOJ Sues Utah Claiming State Discriminated Against Transgender Inmate

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said states discriminated against transgender prisoners because they were late applying for hormone therapy, and prisoners were not able to purchase women’s clothing or be transferred to women’s facilities. filed a lawsuit against the state of Utah.

The complaint charges that the Utah Department of Corrections violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to provide inmates with hormone therapy in a timely manner. report Written by Axios.

In 2022, a federal judge ruled that gender dysphoria is covered by the ADA.

The Department of Justice investigated the Department of Corrections and concluded that the inmate in question was driven to have his testicles removed through “dangerous self-surgery” last year after repeatedly delaying or denying his requests, according to reports. .

Brian Redd, executive director of the Utah Department of Corrections, responded to the allegations, saying he was “blindsided” by the Justice Department’s findings and disappointed in the department’s approach to the investigation.

“We have also taken unique steps as a state to meet the needs of our inmates while maintaining the highest safety standards,” Redd said.

The inmate had been incarcerated since July 2021 and waited more than 17 months to receive hormone therapy in January 2023 due to gender dysphoria, according to the complaint.

Additionally, inmates were denied requests for accommodations such as purchasing women’s clothing and products at the commissary, amending pat tests, and moving to women’s facilities, the complaint added.

The lawsuit also alleges that “virtually all” complaints and appeals related to ADA requirements have been dismissed by the Department of Corrections, even after contract psychologists diagnosed inmates with gender dysphoria.

“Plaintiff’s access to gender dysphoria care depended on a biased and unnecessarily lengthy approval process,” the attorneys said in the lawsuit.

The complaint also noted that the Utah Department of Corrections has a “separate policy” and committee for inmates filing claims involving gender dysphoria, and that there is no separate process for other medical conditions.

The Department of Justice is now reportedly asking the Utah Department of Corrections to change its policies and require correctional officers to undergo additional training on gender dysphoria.

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