Inmates Pregnant After Sexual Acts With Transgender Convict

Two female inmates in New Jersey’s Edna Mahan Correctional Facility are pregnant after engaging in “consensual sexual relationships with another incarcerated person.”

The state Department of Corrections did not identify which of the 27 transgender inmates fathered the unborn children. Beginning in 2021, the state of New Jersey has allowed convicts to be housed in prisons according to their preferred gender identify and does not require transgender women to go through gender reassignment surgery.

The law changed after the ACLU brought a lawsuit against the New Jersey Department of Corrections in August 2019. “This settlement comes at a time of heightened scrutiny of New Jersey’s prison system, and the state needs to commit fully to ensuring the dignity, health, and safety of people in their custody. This policy is a start and addresses the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in state prisons,” ACLU-NJ Legal Director Jeanne LoCicero said in 2021.

LoCicero maintained his support of the policy Tuesday, saying its “in line with New Jersey’s strong anti-discrimination laws that prevent discrimination and harassment on the basis of gender identity.”

The 27 transgender inmates are housed with 800 cisgender women at the facility. Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced plans to close the prison after a “long history of abusive incidents.” Edna Mahan is New Jersey’s only women’s prison.

The external affairs executive director for the DOC, Dan Sperrazza, said there is an ongoing investigation into the matter.

In 2021, two female prisoners at Edna Mahan filed lawsuits claiming they had been harassed by transgender prisoners. The prisoners noted in their suits that the transgender inmates were having sex with cisgender inmates.

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