Following the imprisonment of a 16-year-old transgender girl of color, Jane Doe, by order of the Department of Children and Families, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is calling for her release. Jane Doe has been in prison since April 8, 2014, with no charges against her and is being held in solitary confinement. She recently wrote a letter to Gov. Malloy, pleading, "Don't forget about me. I can't take another month of this."
The move follows court challenges to the youth's transfer to prison approved by a state judge at the request of the Department of Children and Families, a letter to the governor from the youth herself, a protest outside DCF headquarters and settlement talks hosted by state Child Advocate Sarah Eagan. The youth is referred to in court papers as Jane Doe.
DCF Commissioner Joette Katz has said that the department pressed for the youth's placement in adult prison because of her history of assaulting staff members in treatment settings. The rare action sparked outrage from the American Civil Liberties Union and national equal-rights groups. Lawyers Aaron Romano and James Connolly are challenging the move in state and federal court.
Malloy spokesman Andrew Doba said Friday afternoon that the governor "has spoken with Commissioner Katz, and the commissioner agrees that Jane Doe must be moved to another setting as quickly as possible.''