Congratulations to Ms. Diamond on her early release!
Via the SPLC, who are representing Diamond:
Ashley Diamond, the transgender inmate who sued the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) after being denied a safe environment and medically necessary gender dysphoria treatment, was released today after more than three years in prison, where she was housed with male inmates and sexually assaulted eight times.
Diamond, 37, was released from Augusta State Medical Prison just five days after the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed additional documents supporting her motion for preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed in February. The papers, which include sworn statements from multiple transgender inmates, demonstrate that the GDC continues to systematically deny appropriate care to transgender inmates, despite having earlier announced a policy change.
“I’m overjoyed to be with my family again and out of harm’s way,” Diamond said. “Although the systematic abuse and assaults I faced for more than three years have left me emotionally and physically scarred, I’ll continue to fight for justice and to shine a light on the gross mistreatment of transgender inmates in Georgia and nationwide.”
Diamond began serving an 11-year sentence for a nonviolent offense in November 2012. She was eligible for her first parole hearing this November but was released to family members at 8:45 a.m. (Eastern) today.
Here’s video of Diamond secretly recording a narrative of her experience while in prison back in February:
Her lawsuit, Diamond v. Owens, et al., will continue:
“While we’re thrilled that Ashley Diamond is out of prison, our lawsuit is far from over,” said Chinyere Ezie, SPLC staff attorney. “Ashley has endured more than three years of systematic abuse based on the Georgia Department of Corrections’ unconstitutional policies toward transgender inmates and woeful lack of care. Her release does not erase her barbaric treatment by GDC officials, which was tantamount to torture. Nor is her plight isolated. We will continue to advocate for an end to prison practices that unfairly punish and inflict pain on transgender inmates.”
I had previously told a Twitter user a few days ago that she was still at Rutledge State Prison in Columbus as far as the news was concerned, but that apparently changed with this SPLC press release.
Hopefully, Ms. Diamond will be successful in her suit for transgender people in prison, and will find means to adjust to society after illegal abuses in prison.