Judge: Maryland prison mistreated transgender inmate

A legal victory forces the Maryland prison system to better train for how to treat transgender people.
News Story (Maryland)

Associated Press (AP)
September 24, 2015

Tags: LGBTQ, Prisoners Rights

Organizations mentioned/involved: FreeState Justice (MD)


Administrative Law Judge Denise Oakes Shaffer ruled in August that Brown’s treatment violated the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act, saying the prison “failed to train all employees in how to effectively and professionally communicate with transgender inmates.”

Advocates say the complaint and several audits of state prisons in the past year suggest a fundamental lack of training when it comes to how guards handle transgender prisoners, and come as transgender issues have become a focal point in the national conversation about gender identity and gay rights.


In her ruling, Shaffer said the corrections officers “created a hostile environment” that began shortly after Brown arrived and persisted until she was moved to another facility. Furthermore, Patuxent had no policies in place for how to treat transgender inmates, in violation of the federal law, Shaffer wrote in the ruling.