The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Civil Rights filed a statement of interest on Monday in connection with a lawsuit before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia concerning the administration of gender-affirming care in correctional settings.
According to a press release from the agency, the statement “explains that gender dysphoria falls within the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)’s definition of ‘disability’ and affirms that correctional institutions cannot deny medically appropriate care for people with gender dysphoria, no matter their particular circumstances, consistent with the Eighth Amendment.”
“We are committed to ensuring constitutional conditions inside our jails and prisons so that those detained inside these facilities, including people with gender dysphoria can live safely and receive needed medical care,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke.
“The U.S. Constitution requires that people incarcerated in jails and prisons receive necessary medical care, treatment and services to address serious medical conditions,” she said.
The case before the federal court addresses claims by an incarcerated transgender woman that she was denied necessary medical care — including surgeries recommended by four clinicians and consistent access to hormone therapy.