Trans Woman Wins Historic Victory for the Protection of Maryland Inmates

Corrections staff violated the inmate’s rights under the Prison Rape Elimination Act, a judge ruled.
News Story (Maryland)

Rebecca McCray
September 26, 2015

Tags: LGBTQ, Prisoners Rights, Solitary Confinement

Organizations mentioned/involved: FreeState Justice (MD)


During her 66 days in solitary confinement in a Jessup, Maryland, correctional facility, Sandy Brown says she was routinely watched while she showered. Corrections officers would pull back the shower curtain to stare at the transgender prisoner, laugh at her, and call her “it.” One female officer repeatedly victimized her.

“She told me I should kill myself, and that I’m not a woman—that I’ll never be her,” Brown said in a complaint filed in February 2014.
After working its way through the inmate grievance system, that complaint ultimately landed in front of Administrative Law Judge Denise Oakes Shaffer, who recommended that Maryland’s corrections officials institute comprehensive and mandatory training for all employees regarding the treatment and care of transgender inmates, and to compensate Brown $5,000 for her mistreatment.