Juvenile Justice
4:26 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Governor Malloy Pressures DCF to Move Transgender Teen Out of Prison

Governor Dannel Malloy.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy is calling for quick action to remove a 16-year-old transgender teen out of Connecticut's women's prison.

On Thursday, Jane Doe sent a letter to Governor Malloy asking him for  help. Today, the Governor's office released a statement. Spokesman Andrew Doba said, "The Governor has spoken with DCF Commissioner Joette Katz, and the Commissioner agrees that Jane Doe must be moved to another setting as quickly as possible. Commissioner Katz has been developing a plan that will assure both Jane Doe’s safety and the safety of others. It’s our hope that Jane Doe’s transition to a more appropriate setting can be accomplished in a matter of days or weeks, not months, and that she benefits from the treatment and opportunities available to her.”

Meanwhile, supporters for Jane Doe held a rally in front of DCF headquarters in Hartford for the second time in a month. Her attorney Aaron Romano said he wasn't aware of discussions between DCF and the Governor's office to move his client from prison. Romano said he's been contacted by some foster families who want to take care of Jane Doe.

Supporters for Jane Doe gathered again on Friday, May 9, 2014.
Credit Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

"There are other out-of-state placements, and those are potential options," Romano said. "I think it would be preferable to find a foster family. That foster family could be provided with in-home services for [the teen]. There's never been any true consistency in her life, and that's what she needs at this juncture. She's 16 years old, and she has another two years before she ages out of the system. I think two years of being in a loving family, and in a  loving environment, can cure her of that aggressiveness that DCF complains about." 

The teen was transferred to DOC custody on April 8 after a judge approved a DCF request to send her to prison. DCF cited a rare state statute for the transfer, saying the teen is a danger to herself and too violent for any DCF facility.

Advocates for juveniles and LGBT youth nationwide have criticized Connecticut's DCF for transferring the teen to prison when she has not been charged or convicted of an adult crime.

Supporters say the teen, who has suffered extensive trauma,  should be in a therapeutic treatment center for juveniles.