By Samantha Kamman, Christian Post Reporter | July 19, 2022
A trans-identified male who allegedly impregnated two women while incarcerated at a women’s prison in New Jersey has reportedly been transferred to a new facility. Demi Minor, a 27-year-old who identifies as a woman, was transferred to Garden State Youth Correctional Facility, a Burlington County prison for young adult offenders. Minor is serving a 30-year sentence for manslaughter and is eligible for parole in 2037. New Jersey Department of Corrections spokesperson Dan Sperrazza told NJ.com Saturday that Minor has been moved to a vulnerable unit and is the only “woman prisoner on site.”
The transfer comes three months after NJ.com reported that two women at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility, a women’s only prison, became pregnant after “consensual sexual relationships with another incarcerated person.”
In a separate statement to NJ.com, the NJDOC clarified that it was investigating the matter but could not offer further comment.
“NJDOC cannot comment on any active investigations,” the statement read. “The Department has zero tolerance for abuse, and the safety and security of the incarcerated population and staff are of critical importance.”
The New Jersey Department of Corrections did not immediately respond to The Christian Post’s request for comment.
In a Friday post on the Justice 4 Demi blog, Minor alleged that prison guards conducting the June 24 transfer were violent. Minor claimed being moved out of the women’s prison has caused “psychological damage.”
“I don’t think DOC realizes the psychological damage that has been done from moving me out of a womens prison to a male facility, its harsh and, I don’t know what its like to live as a man, and I refuse to ever revert back to such habits or behavior,” the inmate wrote.
In June 2021, New Jersey enacted a policy requiring prisons to house inmates based on their self-declared gender identity following the settlement of a lawsuit filed by a trans-identified male prisoner.
The Doe at the center of the case was incarcerated in men’s prisons for over 18 months and was allegedly denied female commissary items and “misgendered” by correctional officers.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint on the inmate’s behalf in August 2019 after Doe was transferred to the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility.
Sperrazza revealed to NJ.com that the Department of Corrections continues to operate under the policy agreed upon in the settlement, Sonia Doe v. New Jersey Department of Corrections, et al. However, “the department is currently reviewing the policy for housing transgender incarcerated persons with the intention of implementing minor modifications.”
Decisions regarding the housing of inmates like Minor, according to the spokesperson, “are made within the parameters of the settlement agreement which requires consideration of gender identity and the health and safety of the individual.” The settlement mandated that the department keep the policy in place for a year, with the agreement’s timeframe ending last month.
“Defendant New Jersey Department of Corrections has adopted and agrees to maintain in good faith policies, procedures and practices that ensure the health, safety, and dignity of transgender, intersex, and non-binary inmates in its custody, including ensuring inmates’ ability to live in line with their gender identity,” the settlement agreement reads.
ACLU-NJ Staff Attorney Tess Borden praised the settlement, stating that it put into place “far-reaching policy changes” that “recognize and respect the gender identity of people in prison.”
Others, however, such as Leanna DeLorenzo, the New Jersey state contact for the U.S. Chapter of the Women’s Human Rights Campaign, expressed fear that such a policy could threaten women’s safety. In an interview last July with CP, DeLorenzo contended that being a “woman is not a feeling.”
“Women are harassed in prisons by correctional officers and go through things with men constantly,” she added. “Now they’re allowing men to be housed with women because the man decided he ‘feels’ like a woman. It’s unacceptable.”