Transgender Teen at York Moved to Different Part of Prison

May 13, 2014

Sarah Eagan is Connecticut's child advocate.
Credit Chion Wolf

A 16-year-old transgender girl who has been detained at the state women's prison for more than a month has been moved to another location at the prison.

Sarah Eagan, Connecticut's child advocate, spoke on WNPR's Where We Live. She said the Department of Correction would move the teen out of the mental health unit at York Correctional Institution to another part of the prison.

"She would be remaining at York, but in a more, as I said, palatable setting there," Eagan said. "Separate and apart from the mental health unit where she now resides."

The Department of Children and Families went to court to get approval for the rare transfer to the DOC saying Jane Doe is too dangerous to be held at a juvenile facility.

Moving forward, Eagan said "it is essential" that a family be identified for Jane Doe. "Because children do not thrive and succeed in the world without being connected to a caring, stable, nurturing adult," she said. "Whether she 'steps down,' as the term is, from York to an acute treatment facility, that 'step down' has to happen concurrently to efforts to connect her with an adult who will stick with her."

In a statement, the DCF said Jane Doe has not been in isolation at York. They said she exercises, gets transportation to medical care, and watches TV in a shared recreation area.

Meanwhile, the state is being sued in federal court for violating her rights and the original court order transferring her to prison is being appealed.