Trans lag suing prison for £40k for discrimination after being put in men’s jail

A trans woman thrown in a cell with men after drug charges is suing the prison for what she calls discrimination. 

Christina Lusk, 56, has faced sexual and verbal abuse since being incarcerated at Moose Lake prison in Minnesota, USA, after admitting to a felony drug possession charge.

Lusk, who is legally recognised as female and came out as transgender 14 years ago, has asked to be moved from the men's facility to the women's prison in nearby Shakopee. 

Jess Braverman, an attorney for the group Gender Justice, which is representing Lusk along with the Minneapolis law firm of Robins Kaplan, said: "She's a woman, and suddenly she's placed in a men's facility. 

"She's in a locked cell with a number of men, and she's really exposed to harassment and violence in that setting."

While in prison, Lusk has also been denied gender-affirming surgery by corrections officials, her lawsuit says.

It also states that the same procedure was approved by docs before she was incarcerated.

Lusk wrote in the complaint: "I have been diagnosed with severe Gender Dysphoria. I have attempted suicide four times due to my severe distress caused by my GD as well as self mutilation. My mental capacity is under control, and I am able to make good decisions as far as surgery. 

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"I have letters of support from my primary physician, my gender specialist, my therapist, as well as my psychiatrist, only two letters are required for surgery but I go up and beyond what is required.'"

Lusk's position in a men's prison and the decision by the DOC to deny her the surgery is unconstitutional and a violation of her human rights, according to the lawsuit. 

"Christina Lusk is recognized legally and socially as female – including by the state of Minnesota. Yet, the Minnesota DOC treats Ms Lusk as a man simply because she is transgender," the lawsuit states. 

The suit is seeking $50,000, around £40,000, in compensation for Lusk and a "permanent mandatory injunction" requiring that Lusk be treated as a woman by the state prison system.

Her lawyers are also seeking her removal from the men's prison in Moose Lake. Her sentence is due to expire in 2024. 

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