The American Civil Liberties Union and GLBTQ Advocates and Defenders have called on a Maine youth detention center to launch an investigation into the apparent suicide of one of its transgender inmates.
The civil rights advocates are urging the state’s attorney general to appoint an investigator trained in LGBT issues to look into the death, which occurred some time between October 29 and November 2 while the trans male teen was being held in a female wing.
Though state officials have confirmed that a teenager died at the Long Creek Youth Development Center, they’ve yet to comment on the nature of the death, which the ACLU and GLAD groups firmly believe was a suicide.
“Not only is it critical to understand what happened with this young person, but this death raises urgent, substantial concerns about the conditions, policies, patterns and practices at Long Creek and the health, safety and well-being of transgender, lesbian, gay and bisexual youth,” lawyers from the groups wrote to Maine Attorney General Janet Mills Monday.
The Mills office has yet to respond.
The report comes at a time when increased attention is being focused on the abysmal treatment of transgender prisoners, from denied access to proper healthcare, forced sequestering in isolation and violence.