Feminists in Washington state are charging that the American Civil Liberties Union is hiding the danger to female prison inmates from violent males through its efforts to keep information about those men – and their presence in women’s jails – secret.
According to a report from Just the News, it is the Women’s Liberation Front’s Lauren Adams who is raising concerns about the ACLU’s actions in the state.
The ACLU recently convinced a federal judge to prevent the release of data on the number of transgender inmates in the state’s penal system.
Adams charges it’s a campaign to “prevent the public from knowing this data, so that the harm posed to women by forcing them to be housed with violent male prisoners will continue to go under the public’s radar.”
The dispute erupted when a woman filed a public records request for the data on transgenders and the ACLU responded with an emergency restraining order to prevent the information from being made available.
WoLF, however, is arguing that the information contained no personally identifying details, names or anything else, and the request only was for aggregate information.
The women’s organization now is saying the ACLU is “blatantly disregarding their own values and past work in an attempt to suppress information related to how gender identity is impacting women’s prisons.”
In fact, the organization explained its client learned how to ask for the information, through proper channels, from ACLU materials.
The information request dates back only to the middle of last month and seeks an “accurate count of inmates who identify as transgender” in the state’s prisons, Just the News reported.
It also seeks how many men, who don’t identity as men, are in women’s prisons.
The ACLU complained, in opposing the request for information, that once those records are released, “there would be no turning back.”
It charged that the “safety and lives” of unnamed inmates would be in peril.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Rice has granted a temporary order, with another hearing to be held May 12, Just the News said.
Similar requests also had come to the state recently from several news outlets. In fact, broadcast outlet KIRO recently reported on a Department of Corrections worker who reached out to the station, following up with a segment “on a serial killer and a sex offender who transferred from men’s to women’s prison,” the report said.
Just the News explained, “It’s not clear why the lawsuit ropes in WoLF’s client, given that her request only asks for numbers of transgender prisoners rather than personal information about them.”
WoLF said the state failed to respond to the public records request within five business days as required by state law. The state, in fact, cited the ACLU’s lawsuit, in its ultimate response.
California recently confirmed that hundreds of men had requested transfers to women’s jails, and no request so far had been rejected.
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