After years of denying transgender inmate Ashley Diamond hormone therapy, housing her with male prisoners and failing to protect her from sexual assault, the Georgia Department of Corrections changed its treatment policy, released Diamond on parole and reached a settlement in a lawsuit she filed. She became a leading voice for incarcerated transgender people. Five years later, it is as if she had never won, reports the New York Times. Diamond was sent back to prison last year for a parole violation. Once again she has been housed with men, and says she has been sexually assaulted more than 14 times since her return, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit filed Monday by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Southern Poverty Law Center. She has again been denied treatment, leading to attempts at suicide and self-castration, the lawsuit says.
Diamond has repeatedly notified prison authorities of abuse and assaults, including an episode in which she says she was locked in a windowless office by a corrections officer. She says the officer instructed her to set up a makeshift bed and mocked and sexually abused her for hours. She now is housed in a cell with a door that does not lock, and has been brutalized and assaulted there by multiple assailants, the lawsuit says. “Five years after changing its policies in response to our first lawsuit [the state] tragically continues to flout its legal obligations to protect transgender people in its custody,” said Diamond’s attorney, Beth Littrell. “The assaults and threats that Ashley continues to face on a daily basis are inexcusable.”