Officials have announced that two females at NJ’s all-women prison were pregnant after having intercourse with transgender inmates.
The unidentified pregnant women were incarcerated at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility in Clinton, housing 27 prisoners who identify as transgender and more than 800 women.
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Two women fell pregnant once they engaged in “consensual sexual relationships with another incarcerated person,” Dan Sperrazza, the state Department of Corrections’ external affairs executive director, stated.
“While DOC cannot comment on any specific disciplinary or housing decisions that may be considered in light of these events, the Department always reserves all options to ensure the health and safety of the individuals in its custody,” Sperrazza said.
Edna Maham houses prisoners who identify as transgender women in 2021 under an NJ policy enacted that allows prisoners to be housed in accordance with their preferred gender identity as opposed to their sex assigned at birth.
This policy was included in the settlement by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, and attorney Robyn Gigl of Gluck Walrath LLP sued the NJ Department of corrections and its officers in August 2019.
‘’ Plaintiffs in the lawsuit, who went by pseudonyms, alleged that they had faced harassment and abuse and were denied gender-appropriate clothing, among other things, when they had been incarcerated in male prisons over the years despite identifying as female.
The policy also applies to trans women inmates who have yet to undergo gender-reassignment surgery.’’ The Epoch Times reported.
Chis Carden, a public information officer for the Department of corrections, stated that while the department “did have existing processes in place, the policy outlined in this settlement is an update to those processes.”
Carden stated that those incarcerated under NJDOC would be able to give officers information about their identity; the Department would then take “careful measures to ensure they are properly housed in line with their gender identity and their housing preferences while ensuring both their safety and the security of the institution.”
The prisoners have criticized this policy, including two inmates incarcerated at the Edna Mahan Correctional
Facility who, in 2021, sued for the policy to be revoked, stating transgender prisoners have harassed them.
Transgender inmates were sexually active with female prisoners.
“We opposed this policy change believing it would be detrimental to the general population of female inmates being housed at Edna Mahan and also bring added stress to our correctional police officers assigned to this institution,” the union’s president told NJ.com.