An unnamed prisoner, Sonia Doe, recently won a settlement with the ACLU and the state of New Jersey. Her goal: safety and protection for other trans prisoners while imprisoned in America.
Get to know our customer Sonia Doe.
Sonia sued after being placed in male prisons despite @NJ_DOC knowing she was a woman.
“I was scared I wouldn’t find out alive,” she said.
This week, the settlement of her lawsuit resulted in important policy reforms at @NJ_DOC. pic.twitter.com/jEp0RpqDGp
– ACLU of New Jersey (@ACLUNJ) June 30, 2021
“Sonia Doe” is a trans woman incarcerated in a New Jersey prison. This week she received $ 125,000 in damages and attorney’s fees.
“When I was forced to live in male prisons, I was afraid I wouldn’t survive,” Doe said in a statement. “Those memories still haunt me.”
Doe reported sexual violence, including harassment and assault. At one point, Doe stated that she was in solitary confinement as a punishment for her advocacy. This is a common occurrence in our current system, especially in private maximal and supermax prisons.
Today solitary confinement leads to hunger strikes, increased chances of getting back to prison, and more.
What Conservatives Are Saying.
This decision consolidates LGBT housing based on gender identity. Unfortunately, there is already strong opposition to this change. Brandon Showalter of the Christian Post wrote about “biological men” entering women’s facilities.
“That shows again and again that women are not considered in the judiciary… What is the final anyway? When will this end? When women are raped in prison and get pregnant? Is that it? How much more do women have to say no? “@WhrcUhttps: //t.co/Q20j4KTdqI
– Brandon M Showalter (@BrandonMShow) July 1, 2021
(He also writes “misgendered” in quotation marks, quoting the actual statement and quoting the idea of misgendering in the air. Today I’m not going to get into that scare tactic. Though it’s worth saying that straight, cis-het people Experience misgendering.)
The bottom line.
That is not to say that there are no challenges to respecting gender and sexuality in the United States. And it is certainly not an attempt to encourage incarceration for rehabilitation.
However, New Jersey says they will house people based on gender identity, as protecting people like Sonia Doe is vital. This was announced by a spokesman for NBC News.
“Anyone detained under the care of the NJDOC can provide the NJDOC with information about their gender identity at any time,” the spokesman wrote. “Overall, the steps taken support the important cultural changes that are being made throughout the department.”
I enjoyed being an excited Gen-Z Themfluencer, working in politics, writing as a student journalist and discussing what’s most important. I am currently producing and moderating podcasts, contributing to hyper-local news agencies and continuing my education as a Ph.D. away. Student at the University of Maryland.