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Doe v. Massachusetts Department of Correction



GLAD has filed a complaint on behalf of a transgender woman currently incarcerated at Massachusetts Correctional Institution-Norfolk, a state facility that houses male inmates.

Our client, Jane Doe, is currently serving a sentence of three to four years for a non-violent drug offense. She is a woman. She was diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria and underwent gender transition nearly forty years ago, as a teenager. She has a female gender identity, and identifies and lives as a woman.

MA DOC has incorrectly housed her in a male facility. She is regularly subjected to strip searches by male correctional officers, who routinely grope her breasts in the process. She is forced to shower in view of male prisoners who inappropriately comment on her body and otherwise harass her. Correctional officers and other staff at the facility refuse to address or refer to her using her correct name and female pronouns. And she has been denied access to preventative medical care, including mammograms.

The impact of this discriminatory treatment on Ms. Doe is scarring, humiliating, and both physically and emotionally harmful.

The complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts requests that Ms. Doe be appropriately transferred to DOC’s female corrections facility, MCI-Framingham, and that in the interim:

  • she be searched only by female correctional officers;
  • she be provided with a separate shower time without the presence of men;
  • she be granted access to preventative healthcare including mammograms; and
  • she be referred to by the correct name and female pronouns

In addition to GLAD, Ms. Doe is represented by Prisoner Legal Services and Goodwin Procter LLP.

Case Documents