CRUEL AND USUAL

Trans Inmate Says She Was Raped After Judges Sent Her to ‘Punishment Pod’

A transgender inmate who’s suing Colorado’s corrections agency says she was raped at a men’s prison, just hours after a judge denied her request to block the prison from keeping her in a disciplinary unit. Lindsay Saunders-Velez filed a lawsuit in July that claims she has been threatened, harassed, and assaulted in the male prison, calling the state’s prisons “discriminatory and dangerous” for transgender offenders. Last month, her lawyers asked a judge not to send her to the “punishment pod,” warning she could end up with inmates who had tormented her. After the judge rejected the request, Saunders-Velez, 20, was attacked in the pod and spent more than a week in the infirmary. Her lawyer, Paula Greisen, said the case illustrates the threats and abuse transgender people face in U.S. prisons. “This issue is not going to go away,” she said. “We’re going to fight it until these individuals are treated with the respect they deserve.”