GLAAD has been following the story of Jane Doe, a 16-year-old transgender girl of color, and we are dismayed to report that Doe has been moved to Connecticut's Juvenile Training School (JTS), the state's only secure facility for delinquent boys.
As ABC reports, Doe spent nearly two months in an adult prison – first an adult men's prison and then an adult women's prison – with no criminal charges filed against her before being transferred to a psychiatric center in Massachusetts. She was then moved to the Children's Psychiatric Center in Middletown, where she had allegedly assaulted another youth and a staff member and destroyed property on Saturday. No details of these or previous allegations have been released, and still no charges have been filed.
In the middle of the night following the alleged assault, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) transferred her to JTS, where she is being held in a separate room from the boys, because there was no "suitable place…that can ensure the safety of youths and staff" at the psychiatric facility. DCF did not inform Doe's lawyers of the move.
Her attorney, Aaron Romano, expressed his deepest disappointment in DCF Commissioner, Joette Katz, for issuing a news release instead of notifying Doe's lawyers. He said:
"I am shocked and disappointed at the commissioner. I question whether the commissioner should continue to be in her position if she believes in this litigation in the press."
He also commented that after DCF promised to get therapy for his client and seek foster care, "nothing has materialized."
On May 8, Jane asked Connecticut Governor Dannel O'Malloy for help:
"I have been sitting in this prison for a month now and there is no plan to get me out. I am suffering in here. I’m having trouble sleeping and I’m not eating much. I cry in bed every night. I can’t be myself in this place. I feel forgotten and thrown away…DCF is supposed to be helping me, right? If this is helping me then I’m all set with being helped. I would be a lot better off being on my own. It seems like you’re my last chance to get out of here. Don’t forget about me. I can’t take another month of this."
Since then, Doe has only faced further mistreatment.
GLAAD Senior Media Strategist, Tiq Milan, says about the situation:
"It's heartbreaking to learn that this young girl is still being shuffled around the system and misgendered by those who are charged with taking care of her. Placing Jane in an all-male facility will not stabilize her situation. If anything it may cause more harm. She deserves the basic right of being acknowledged and respected as the gender she identifies with before any forward progress can actually happen."
Join us to demand her immediate release!
Write Jane a letter.
Jane needs letters of love and support for her struggle. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Letter for Jane Doe” and the #JusticeForJane organizers will get your letter to her attorney, who can get it to her.
Print & fill in this sign (or write your own!), take a picture & upload it to Twitter, Tumblr & other social media with the #JusticeForJane hashtag.
Some ideas: I demand #JusticeForJane because 77 days in prison without charges is too much!
I demand #JusticeForJane because mass incarceration destroys lives & families.
I demand #JusticeForJane because no one should be punished for defending themselves.
I demand #JusticeForJane because DCF has a responsibility to care for children, not abuse and lock them up!
Call & Tweet DCF Commissioner Joette Katz and CT Governor Dannel Malloy
Call DCF at 860-550-6300.
Call Governor Malloy at 860-566-4840.
Sample message: I’m calling to demand that Joette Katz and Governor Malloy take action to immediately release Jane Doe, the 16-year-old trans girl who’s been held in prisons and correctional facilities for 77 days without charges. It’s an outrage that DCF and the State of Connecticut are responding to abuse by torturing the victim instead of giving Jane a safe environment.
How did your calls go? Reply to this post, tweet with #JusticeForJane or @Justice4JaneCT on Twitter and let us know.
@CTDCF, @GovMalloyOffice: 77 days in confinement is 77 days too many! #JusticeForJane means releasing her to a safe & caring environment now!
(You can edit the tweet before you send it. Make sure to use the #JusticeForJane hashtag!)
Sign & Share the Petition
Join over 18,681 others that have signed a petition demanding #JusticeForJane on change.org