transgender rights

Transgender Woman Sues DC Jail for Discrimination

Sunday Hinton

A transgender woman is suing the D.C. jail for keeping her in the men’s detention unit though she is a transgender woman.

Sunday Hinton has been in custody since April 26. She has made several requests to be transferred to the women’s unit, but those requests werre denied, according to an attorney with the ACLU of D.C.

Government attorneys have argued that housing at the D.C. jail is based on anatomy, according to court filings.

“Transgender individuals are at very high risk for sexual violence, assault, harassment when incarcerated, generally," ACLU DC attorney Megan Yan said. "Ms. Hinton is very, very upset about her situation. She wants to be in a woman’s facility, because she’s a woman, and she feels that she's deeply being hurt by the fact that this policy is discriminating her because she’s transgender.”

Jail officials offered to place Hinton in protective custody. Hinton’s lawyers said that would be like putting her in solitary confinement.

It was unclear how many transgender people were incarcerated in the D.C. jail.

According to protocols, Hinton was placed into single-occupancy quarantine for 14 days, said Keena Blackmon, a spokeswoman for the D.C. Department of Corrections.

Once the quarantine period ends, Hinton will go before the Transgender Housing Committee, which will determine her housing “based on safety needs, housing availability and gender identity,” Blackmon said.

“D.C. DOC is sensitive to Ms. Hinton’s concerns and will continue to ensure that its residents’ needs are met,” Blackmon said.

The Transgender Housing Committee has not met since January 2020. 

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