Trans prisoner awarded $167k after being refused hormones

A transsexual prisoner in the US has been awarded $167,500 by the state of Oregon after he was refused hormone treatments.

The Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC) has been ordered to provide hormone treatment, bras and women’s underwear for a man who says he is a woman and goes by the name Michelle Wright.

In addition, the ODOC will consider transferring Wright to the state’s only all-women’s prison as part of a settlement agreement announced last week.

No diagnosis

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed the case on behalf of Wright, who is currently serving a five-year sentence for attempted armed robbery.

Court documents say Wright was repeatedly refused hormone treatments by the ODOC, but the intake officer at Wright’s prison said he had not received a formal diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

In September 2016, the state’s “gender-non-conforming committee” also turned down the prisoner’s request for hormone treatment and instead recommended he undergo therapy.

The $167,000 compensation was awarded to Wright in a settlement, while another $100,000 was awarded to the ACLU to cover legal fees.

While the settlement applies specifically to Wright, it is likely to form the basis of new transsexual guidelines, which the ODOC has been ordered to revise.

New guidance

Last year, the UK Government drew up official guidance which states that transsexual prisoners may be able to serve their sentence in the prison of their choice.

In its guidance, the Ministry of Justice say that transsexual offenders should be allowed to “experience the system in the gender in which they identify”.

But The Christian Institute says that trans people should be treated with kindness, not endorsement.

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