In 2019, Georgia adopted a new policy for the “Classification and Management of Transgender and Intersex Offenders” that is supposed to make placement decisions on an case-by-case basis, give serious consideration to the transgender person’s own views regarding safety, provide inmates with the opportunity to shower separately, and reassess their placement after any incident of sexual abuse.
None of that has happened for Ms. Diamond. In practice, officials assign people based solely on their assigned sex at birth, and punish them for “perceived gender-nonconformity,” the lawsuit said.
“I’m really hurt that I’m having to sue G.D.C. over the same set of circumstances,” Ms. Diamond said in an email sent to her lawyer. “It is no easy task taking on a principality of evil like the prison system. But I refuse to let my people be mistreated because of a lack of basic human understanding and decency.”
Chinyere Ezie, a lawyer at the Center for Constitutional Rights representing Ms. Diamond, said her statements were general because her emails are monitored and she fears retaliation if she recounts the details of what she is experiencing.
The lawsuit claims that prison officials disregard their own policy of providing individualized medical treatment, instead offering only hormone therapy, often in subtherapeutic doses “due to lack of monitoring, interruption and delay.”
Ms. Diamond, 42, comes from Rome, Ga., and has lived as a transgender woman since adolescence, beginning hormone therapy at 17. During a high point in her life, she lived in Atlanta, performed as a cabaret star and Whitney Houston impersonator and appeared on Sally Jessy Raphael’s talk show.
But at times she struggled. She was arrested for stealing checks and breaking into a friend’s apartment. Her major charge was burglary, but she also faced several other charges, including attempted escape during an arrest. She was convicted and sentenced to more than a decade in prison.