Transgender inmate wins court victory in Maryland

A transgender inmate from Maryland will receive compensation for the humiliation and abuse she received at the hands of correction officers. A judge ruled that her treatment violated national standards for the protection of transgender prisoners.

News Story (Maryland)

John Riley
Metro Weekly (DC)
September 24, 2015

Tags: LGBTQ, Prisoners Rights, Solitary Confinement

Organizations mentioned/involved: FreeState Justice (MD)


FreeState Legal, the legal aid organization that provides assistance to low-income LGBT Marylanders, had initially filed a grievance against the Patuxent Institution, a correctional facility in Jessup, Md. FreeState Legal alleged that the treatment of their client, Sandy Brown, at the hands of correctional officers violated standards set forth by the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 that are intended to protect inmates from sexual abuse.

Brown was placed in solitary confinement at the Patuxent Institution for 24 days, and was only given one hour of recreation for the entire 66 days she was there. When she went to use the shower, corrections officers would pull back the shower curtain and call over other officers to humiliate and make fun of her. The officers would even encourage her to commit suicide, which she did for a time due to the humiliation and poor treatment suffered at their hands.

“They didn’t see me for the human being I am,” Brown said. “They treated me like a circus act. They gawked, pointed, made fun of me and tried to break my spirit.”