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‘I Worry For My Survival’: Ga. Transgender Woman Ashley Diamond Fights To Be Moved Out Of Men’s Prison

Ashley Diamond first sued the Georgia Department of Corrections six years ago. In a statement to WABE, she says, in her return to custody, she has “been sexually assaulted and abused 16 times. I’ve had trouble getting the healthcare I need.”
Ashley Diamond first sued the Georgia Department of Corrections six years ago. In a statement to WABE, she says, in her return to custody, she has “been sexually assaulted and abused 16 times. I’ve had trouble getting the healthcare I need.”
Credit Associated Press

It will be at least a month before a federal judge hears arguments for an emergency order that would transfer Ashley Diamond to a Georgia’s women’s prison.

Diamond, who is Black and transgender, first sued the Georgia Department of Corrections six years ago, after nearly a dozen alleged sexual assaults. Attorneys say the state also denied her medical care and necessary hormones.

Diamond was able to release a statement to WABE on her case, and what this could mean for all incarcerated trans people:

“My experiences in the Georgia Department of Corrections have been a blow to the heart of a believer. When I sued Georgia six years ago, there were supposed to be changes to the way trans people are treated in prison, but when I was put back in for a technical parole violation, I found little had changed. Since my return to custody, I’ve been put in a series of men’s prisons where I’ve been sexually assaulted and abused 16 times. I’ve had trouble getting the healthcare I need. Everyday, I worry for my survival.”

“Why would you put a woman in a men’s prison? What do you expect to happen? The message Georgia is sending trans people in custody is that our lives and existences simply do not matter. But I know better. Trans people deserve safety. And we deserve healthcare, even in prison. And I will fight until change happens, even though it won’t be easy.”

“I believe in my lawyers and those who support better treatment of trans prisoners, but I also know what evil exists and that hatred is still embedded in every brick of every city of every courthouse and jail, and that’s a tough pill to swallow. But I will never stop fighting.”

WABE’s “All Things Considered” host Jim Burress spoke with her attorney, Chinyere Ezie, of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and started by breaking down a section of that statement.

The Georgia Department of Corrections did not respond to WABE’s requests for comment.