Sandy Brown was kept in solitary fo 66 days 23 hours a day, ridiculed and coaxed to kill herself has won a tremendous victory for all trans inmates.
“They put me in solitary confinement just because I am transgender. I spent 24 hours a day in solitary and was only allowed one hour of recreation during the entire 66 days I was there,” stated Ms. Brown, the plaintiff in the case.
“They didn’t see me for the human being I am. They treated me like a circus act. They gawked, pointed, made fun of me and tried to break my spirit,” she added. “Imagine if every time you took a shower someone pulled back the curtain to stare at you. What if they called other people over to watch and humiliate you?
How would it feel if someone told you that you should kill yourself and they made you feel like an animal or less than human? That is what this case is about,” said Rebecca Earlbeck, Staff Attorney at FreeState Legal, who represented Ms. Brown along with Jer Welter, Deputy Director and Managing Attorney of FreeState Legal. “Ms. Brown, a transgender woman, was held in solitary confinement for 66 days just because she is transgender, and while she was there prison guards ridiculed her, encouraged her to commit suicide, and even pulled the shower curtain back so a group of corrections officers could look at her naked body as she showered,” said Earlbeck. “She was so humiliated and afraid, she actually considered committing suicide.”
In the decision, a Maryland administrative law judge concluded that this misconduct violated national standards for the protection of transgender inmates, and that Ms. Brown should receive compensation for the degradation and humiliation she endured. The Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services formally adopted the judge’s determinations that Maryland must adopt new, comprehensive policies for the protection of transgender inmates in prison housing assignments, searches, and interactions between guards and transgender prisoners; and must institute mandatory training on these policies for all correctional officers.
Read the Freestate press release here