Transgender inmate is suing officials after she was put in men’s prison

A transgender lady in Minnesota is suing the state Department of Corrections for discrimination after being detained in a men’s institution where she has endured sexual and verbal harassment.

Christina Lusk, 56, has filed a complaint against the state correctional administration demanding $50,000 in monetary damages after being sent to the men’s jail and refused gender-affirming surgery.

Lusk, who is officially accepted as a female, has petitioned to be transferred from the Moose Lake men’s institution to the Skakopee women’s jail.

Minneapolis resident Lusk emerged as transgender 14 years ago, began human treatment, and officially changed her name in 2018. She pled guilty to felony narcotics use the next year.

According to Jess Braverman, a lawyer with the Gender Justice organisation, which is defending Lusk alongside the Minneapolis legal firm of Robins Kaplan, her client is uncomfortable in Moose Lake.

Braverman added that she is a woman, and she is abruptly thrown in a men’s prison. She’s in a closed cell with a number of males, and she’s vulnerable to provocation and assault in that environment.

According to the case, Lusk was refused gender-affirming surgery while in jail, although physicians authorised the treatment before her incarceration. She will be freed in 2024.

As per the complaint, Lusk has been pursuing a vaginoplasty since her incarceration, but DOC Medical Director James Amsterdam has concluded that she should not be given the genital surgery while in jail, rather ‘may continue that after release.’

Lusk stated in the complaint that she has been diagnosed with severe Gender Dysphoria. Due to the intense agony caused by her GD and self-mutilation, she tried to commit suicide four times. Her mental ability is under control, and she can make sound surgical judgments.

She has letters of support from her general physician, gender specialist, therapist, and psychiatrist; just two letters are necessary for operation, but she goes above and beyond.

As per the case, the correctional department’s decision to confine Lusk in a men’s jail and refuse her operation is unlawful and a breach of her human rights.

Christina Lusk is socially and legally acknowledged as a woman, even by the state of Minnesota. ‘However, the Minnesota Department of Corrections regards Ms Lusk as a male just because she is transgender,’ according to the lawsuit.

The petition seeks $50,000 in damages for Lusk as well as a “permanent mandatory injunction” mandating the state prison system to treat Lusk as a woman and transfer her from the men’s jail in Moose Lake.

According to the complaint, Lusk was chastised for having breasts and wearing women’s attire, but also for going without a bra while her bras were being washed.

In early 2020, Lusk lodged the first of two accusations with the state Department of Human Rights. She said that jail authorities kept her in a room with seven other males, forced her to change her clothing and use the restroom with guys, and addressed her by her previous name.

As per the lawsuit, both pleas to be relocated were refused without reason.

The Minnesota Department of Corrections did not immediately respond to Lusk’s complaint, however it did say in a statement to Minnesota Public Radio News that it is “dedicated to safeguarding the protection and well-being of transgender persons.”

The government stated that it evaluates transgender prisoner accommodations on a case-by-case basis.

According to Rebecca Bact of Robins Kaplan, her company is aiding Lusk since she “deserves appropriate housing, healthcare, and a decent living free of prejudice.”

Braverman told the publication that transgender persons are unfairly subjected to violence and threats in state institutions including as jails and prisons, schools, and healthcare facilities.

She added, everyone in detention needs to be safe from abuse and threats. One need the systems, such as the [Minnesota] Department of Corrections (DOC), to do a better job of protecting all vulnerable populations, which include transgender persons, currently.

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