According to NJ.com, authorities in New Jersey have transferred a transgender inmate who impregnated two female inmates while being held at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women.
Demi Minor, 27, was transferred to the Garden State Youth Correctional Facility in June, according to Department of Corrections spokesman Dan Sperrazza. Minor is currently the only female inmate at the facility, according to Sperrazza.
Following the incident, Sperrazza stated that the women became pregnant through “consensual sexual relationships with another incarcerated person,” as reported by Face2Face Africa at the time.
According to corrections department records, Minor was sentenced to 30 years in prison for manslaughter. In 2037, she will be eligible for parole.
Minor and her attorney were unable to be reached for comment, but the transgender inmate shared a July 5 post on her website in which she accused corrections officers of beating her and forcibly transferring her to the Garden State Youth Correctional Facility.
Minor’s allegations have prompted the DOC to launch an investigation. “The NJDOC cannot comment on any ongoing investigations,” the department said in a statement. “The Department has a zero-tolerance policy for abuse, and the incarcerated population’s and staff’s safety and security are critical.”
The Edna Mahan Correctional Facility is New Jersey’s only female prison. In June of last year, the state passed legislation requiring state prisons to house transgender people based on their gender identity rather than their sex at birth. The decision was welcomed by activists because many transgender inmates in the United States are housed in prisons based on their gender at birth and are frequently harassed.
The current policy, according to Jeanne LoCicero, legal director of the ACLU’s New Jersey chapter, “reflects best practices to ensure the health, dignity, and safety of people in (DOC) custody.”
Following reports of two inmates becoming pregnant by the transgender inmate, Gov. Phil Murphy stated that issues with properly segregating prisoners at Edna Mahan are “among the many reasons” he has ordered the facility to close, according to NJ.com.
“One of the reasons for closing it — and there are many, unfortunately — is the inability to segregate populations based on incidences or behaviors,” Murphy explained. “And that’s one of many reasons why it needs to be closed, which is currently underway.”
After reports that corrections officers had “violently extracted women from their cells and brutalized them in the middle of the night,” Murphy announced state plans to close the prison in 2021.