Judges Rules Against Jail Whose Staff Systematically Sexually Harassed Trans Inmate

For the first time, a transgender inmate has won a legal victory under the Prison Rape Elimination Act.

News Story (Maryland)

Zack Ford
September 24, 2015

Tags: LGBTQ, Prisoners Rights, Solitary Confinement

Organizations mentioned/involved: FreeState Justice (MD)


Sandy Brown, who is transgender, spent 66 days in administrative segregation (solitary confinement), during which time she was repeatedly harassed by the staff at the Patuxent Institution, a mental health assessment correctional facility in Jessup, Maryland. She filed a complaint, and an administrative law judge has found that her rights were violated under the protections of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).

Brown was represented by the FreeState Legal Project, a civil legal aid organization that serves low-income LGBT people in Maryland. According to her attorney, Jer Welter, this is the first case in which a transgender inmate successfully found protection under PREA. “It’s a huge win,” he told ThinkProgress.