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Conn. Trans Teen Jane Doe Found After Escaping Therapy Program

Conn. Trans Teen Jane Doe Found After Escaping Therapy Program


Advocates say it's no surprise that the formerly imprisoned and abused trans teen, who suffers post-traumatic symptoms, attempted to escape treatment.

Yesterday, transgender teen Jane Doe, whose April imprisonment without charge has ignited national outrage, escaped a private treatment facility at 11:45 a.m. She was found by police uninjured, walking around Hartford, Conn., more than four hours later, reports Time.

Today would have been the second day of Doe's private treatment at Hartford's Institute of Living after several months spent in York Correctional Institute for Women in Niantic, Conn., notes the Hartford Courant. She is currently back in the custody of Connecticut's Department of Children and Families.

Prior to her imprisonment, Doe was shuffled between Connecticut facilities and spent time in an East Lyme mental health unit where she was allegedly held in solitary confinement.

The 16-year-old trans girl of color -- whose name has been withheld because she is a minor -- has spent most of her life in the custody of DCF after emerging from an abusive home.

In April, Doe detailed her history of sexual abuse and assault in a sworn affidavit, pointing fingers at both her family and DCF officials. Following her imprisonment in the adult facility and rumors she would possibly be moved to a male facility, Doe's supporters organized rallies and online support under the name #JusticeForJane.

In June, Doe was removed from York Correctional after 58 days without charge, and placed in a psychiatric center in Middletown, Conn. After allegations she assaulted a staff member and a fellow youth, in addition to destroying DCF property, Doe was then transferred to Middletown's Juvenile Training School for delinquent boys in July.

Under pressure from activists and Doe's lawyer, DCF has stated that they are committed to providing Doe with "necessary care," including the therapeutic program, approved by all parties, from which Doe escaped.

"Many wonder why Jane would attempt to escape today, on her way to a therapy session," the Justice for Jane campaign wrote on Facebook Tuesday. "Let's look at her history with DCF: From a very young age, Jane was placed by DCF in extremely traumatizing conditions [in foster care], where she was subject to rape, assault, trafficking, and drug exposure.

"Much of this abuse happened at the hands of DCF employees," the group continued. "Jane was severely punished [through incarceration] for having symptoms of PTSD and reacting to inappropriate behavior from staff."

Similarly, child advocate Sarah Eagan told the Courant, that Doe's erratic or unexpected behavior is a response to the years of abuse she's faced.

"It's unfortunate but not surprising," Eagan said. "This is what kids who are traumatized do."

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