Federal court denies transgender inmate’s plea for transfer
A federal court judge has denied transgender Georgia inmate Ashley Diamond’s request to be transferred to a lower-security prison for her safety. The ruling came down after an April 20 hearing in which Diamond was present to testify. Diamond’s lawyers tell the Georgia Voice they are “very concerned” she will be assaulted again, or cause harm to herself again.
The hearing was held to address whether the Georgia Department of Corrections has taken necessary steps to keep Diamond safe since her transfer last month from Baldwin State Prison in Milledgeville to Georgia State Prison in the city of Forsyth.
“Ms. Diamond testified under oath that she would rather die than be assaulted again,” David Dinielli, Southern Poverty Law Center deputy legal director, told the Georgia Voice. “She is very fearful.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center filed the suit on behalf of Diamond in February. Increased media attention, including vocal support from Elton John and Michael Stipe, was followed by the U.S. Department of Justice issuing a statement calling the denial of hormone therapy unconstitutional.
The Georgia DOC restored Diamond’s hormone treatments, although her lawyer ex- pressed concerns that the dosage was too low to be therapeutic.