Jessica Hicklin “is a preoperative transgender woman who was born James Hicklin and was convicted of fatally shooting a man in 1995 during a drug-related crime in Clinton, Missouri.” According to Hicklin, he “realized that [he is] a woman who is transgender” after being sentenced to serve his life-sentence in a federal prison for convicted male offenders. He alleges the prison’s denial of “gender-affirming canteen items” amounts to “cruel and unusual punishment.”
In August 2017, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit on Hicklin’s behalf in federal court, challenging the state’s law prohibiting inmates who did not identify as transgender before they entered the prison system from receiving hormone therapy, and seeking a declarative judgment and “medically necessary treatment … including but not limited to hormone therapy, permanent hair removal, and access to gender-affirming canteen items.”
On February 9, 2018, U.S. Magistrate Judge Noelle Collins granted in part a preliminary injunction filed by Lambda Legal in April 2017 ordering the prison to grant Hicklin “medically necessary treatment” in the form of permanent body hair removal, hormone therapy, and access to “gender-affirming” products which are not typically available at the male prison where Hicklin is serving his life sentence. Hicklin’s lawsuit is scheduled for trial in May 2018.