Update: Transgender Teen Removed from Adult Prison
Date:  06-25-2014

“Jane Doe” is now being treated at a juvenile psychiatric center
“Jane Doe,” a16-year old transgender, self-identifying girl, who was placed in an adult prison for females in Connecticut. even though she had not been charged with a crime, has been removed from the prison by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), the same agency that fought to have Doe housed there. Doe had originally been placed by DCF in a Connecticut juvenile facility for boys. Doe has been under the care of DCF since the age of five.

Joelle Katz, the Connecticut DCF Commissioner, announced Doe was released on June 24 and placed in the Albert J. Solnit Children’s Psychiatric Center in Middletown Connecticut. The Solnit Center is also run by DCF. Doe had made an impassioned plea to the Court that she needed mental health treatment and was not receiving it at the York Correctional Institution, Connecticut’s only prison for females. Doe had asked the Court in April to release her from prison where she was held in solitary confinement. DCF asked the Court for Doe to be housed in the prison because she had “violent behavioral issues,” allegedly from years of sexual and physical abuse that she endured during the course of her young life.

Doe’s placement in an adult prison sparked outrage across the country. Advocates for Doe wanted to know why Doe wasn’t sent to the Solnit Children’s Psychiatric Center in the first place. In a November 4, 2014 press release announcing that the Solnit Center was praised for being a “top performer,” Katz was quoted as saying”“…the hospital's staff has made important strides in improving the quality of care provided to the youths receiving treatment for a variety of significant emotional disorders and diagnosed mental illnesses.” Katz added, "The hospital's youths have very intensive treatment needs resulting from complex trauma histories, and the staff has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to providing the highest quality care possible.”

While people are happy to see Doe out of an adult state prison, some members of the “Free Jane Doe” group say that several people have offered to foster her and she should have been given the opportunity to live with a foster family, and have complained that the Sonit Center is a prisonlike setting.