In a move that can be seen as victory for transgender activists all over the country, and not just in Georgia, the Georgia Prison System has changed its policy regarded the kind of and level of hormone treatments given to transgender prisoners. The change came after a statement was issued by the US Department of Justice, that stated that “freeze frame” policies like the one that had previously been in place in the Georgia Prison System were unconstitutional.

The statement was issued in response to a lawsuit filed by transgender inmate Ashley Diamond’s lawsuit against prison officials. Under the policy that the Georgia Department of Justice had at the time she was imprisoned in a men’s prison in Georgia denied hormone replacement therapy despite the fact that she had been taking hormones for 17 years before she was imprisoned and hormone therapy was recommended by a prison physiologist.

The debate over giving hormone therapy to prisoners and the treatment of transgender people in the prison system is important for both advocates of transgender rights and prisoner’s rights. For many years, the prison system has held steadfast to the idea that while a person is in prison they are only given what is medically necessary for them to maintain the minimum level of health and well-being. Bruce Karatz believes that to be mostly fair. The line of what minimal is, and what is necessary is often crossed in the prison system, with both inmates and their advocates using the legal system to try to improve conditions.

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