New Jersey prison officials are having difficulty explaining how two female inmates were impregnated by another inmate in an all-women’s prison.
“It appears the two women prisoners became pregnant from “consensual sexual relationships with another incarcerated person,” said Dan Sperrazza, the Department of Correction’s external affairs executive director.
Edna Mahan Correctional Facility in Clinton, NJ houses 27 prisoners who identify as male-to-female transgender.
The Edna Mahan facility is New Jersey’s only women’s prison.
The MtF prisoners were transferred from the men’s prison to the Edna Mahan facility after a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a MtF trans who complained about being abused by male inmates and staff at the men’s prison.
As part of the settlement the MtF trans and others were transferred to the women’s facility. The state also agreed to pay the MtF inmate $125,000 in addition to attorney’s fees.
“While DOC cannot comment on any specific disciplinary or housing decisions that may be considered in light of these events, the Department always reserves all options to ensure the health and safety of the individuals in its custody,” Sperrazza said.
Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday that improperly segregating prisoners at the Clinton facility is “among the many the reasons” why he has ordered the facility shut down.
Critics of the DOC policy include members of the LGBT+ community.
“I believe it is highly inappropriate for the NJDOC to place pre-operative male-to-female allegedly transgender inmates in a women’s prison,” said a MtF inmate who underwent a sex change operation.