Donisha McShan was paroled to The H Group, a halfway house in Marion, Illinois, in October 2013, to complete a criminal sentence and receive treatment for substance abuse. After relocating to The H Group, the facility assigned Donisha to the male-only unit even though there is a women and co-ed unit. In spite of Donisha informing the staff that she identifies as a woman and lives her life as a woman, the staff at The H Group insisted on addressing her with male pronouns and told she could not bring feminine items into the facility. Staff members even threatened to send Donisha back to prison if she did not comply and live as male.
Lambda Legal submitted a demand letter to The H Group, informing them that state and federal law prohibit discrimination against transgender people who are incarcerated in government-funded facilities. After receiving Lambda Legal’s letter, The H Group immediately ceased their harassment of Donisha and began treating her as a woman while at the facility, moved Donisha into a single room, and discontinued searches and confiscation of Donisha’s personal items.