Transgender prisoners in Georgia will be eligible to receive and continue their hormone treatment while serving a prison sentence.
The US Department of Justice sided with Ashley Diamond, a trans prisoner who filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s authorities.
According to the lawsuit, officials refused Diamond to continue her hormone treatment; she was also placed in unsafe facilities with violent men, according to health24.
Diamond, who was convicted of burglary and other charges in 2012, had been receiving hormone treatment for 17 years before she went to prison, according to reports.
Georgia’s Department of Corrections initially refused her request for hormone treatment despite Diamond attempting suicide and self-castration; a prison psychologist also urged the department to continue her treatment.
The Department of Justice called denying prisoners their hormone treatment a ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ as it inflicts physical pain and leads to muscle spasms and a loss of breast mass.
Vanita Gupta, acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division, said: “Prisoners with gender dysphoria should not be forced to suffer needlessly during their incarceration simply because they were not receiving care, or could not prove they were receiving care, in the community.’
Under the new policy prisoners diagnosed with gender dysphoria will receive medical evaluations and mental health counseling.
‘If a diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria is reached, a treatment plan will be developed that promotes the physical and mental health of the patient,‘ the policy states.
‘The development of the treatment plan is not solely dependent on services provided or the offender’s life experiences prior to incarceration.’