By Parker Marie Molloy
Originally published on Advocate.com April 17 2014 9:26 AM ET
A 16-year-old transgender girl who was sent to an adult prison last week, depite not being charged with a crime, has issued a statement in the form of a court filing.
According to a sworn affidavit, Jane Doe, whose name has been witheld because she is a minor, has spent the past eight days locked in a prison cell for upwards of 22 hours a day. Doe had been in the care of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families for the past 11 years after being born into an abusive home, and was placed in an adult facility after the agency claimed that they could not care for her any longer.
In court documents filed earlier this week, Doe provides some background on her life so far.
"I was placed in DCF custody because my father was incarcerated and my mother was using heroin, crack, alcohol, and possibly other drugs," her statement reads. "While in DCF custody, I have suffered immensely. I feel that DCF has failed to protect me from harm, and I am now thrown into prison because they hve refused to help me."
Doe outlines the many traumatic experiences she says she's endured during her time in DCF care, including being raped, physically assaulted, and emotionally tormented. She alleges that multiple DCF staff members forced her to perform sex acts on them, and she details her experience being forced into survival sex work after being sent back to live with her abusive mother at age 15.
"If I were placed in a male correctional facility, I fear that I will be assaulted, would experience verbal and physical abuse, stress, anxiety, and I would not feel safe," the statement continues. "I can feel myself growing more isolated, frustrated, and feeling alone in my current isolation. When I was housed at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School in similar conditions, I experienced severe emotional stress and trauma, and am concerned how this will affect my future."
"I don't think being placed in isolation or in a male facility would be in my best interest or prepare me to re-enter the community. I need to be given treatment and services specific to my needs. I need to deal with the trauma I've experienced in my life. This prison cannot do that for me. I am willing to cooperate fully with those people who are willing to help me fully."
Doe's placement in the adult prison stemmed from an incident in January where she allegedly injured a DCF staff member during a physical altercation.
Supporters of Doe have begun an online campaign urging Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy to evaluate the situation and intervene, using the Twitter hashtag #RethinkMalloy.