A transgender inmate who says he was called “it” and “some kind of animal” by guards who watched him shower won a legal victory that forces the Maryland prison system to better train for how to treat transgender people. Neon Brown, a Man who identifies as a Woman named Sandy, said in a grievance that he was sent to the state prison at Patuxent in February 2014 for a psychological screening. Brown said he was placed in solitary confinement, and kept there for 66 days despite a directive from the jail warden that staff shouldn’t segregate him from the rest of the population. During that time, he was routinely harassed by guards who made fun of him while he showered, including one who told him to commit suicide, Brown said in the complaint.
Administrative Law Judge Denise Oakes Shaffer ruled in August that Brown’s treatment violated the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act, saying the prison “failed to train all employees in how to effectively and professionally communicate with transgender inmates.”
We support this ruling.