ATLANTA (WXIA) -- The US Department of Justice is investigating how Georgia’s LGBT inmates are being treated by the state’s prison system.
The US Attorney is looking for potential Constitutional rights violations. This investigation is unprecedented. This marks the first time the Department of Justice has investigated how LGBT inmates are being treated.
The investigation comes months after transgender inmate Ashley Diamond was released from the Georgia prison system. She reported sexual abuse and was denied hormone treatment, among other complaints.
However the US Attorney is not confirming this is directly connected to Ashley Diamond.
“What we can say is that we have received some complaints relating to allegations of abuse in Georgia prisons," U.S. Attorney John Horn said in a statement. "When we reach critical mass, we decide to open up an investigation,”
“I think that this is a great sign that this administration is concerned about the LGBT community, making sure they are protected. Making sure they are treated as humans because they are,” said Emory law professor Timothy Holbrook.
Holbrook explained when someone goes to prison certain rights are forfeited, but it doesn’t mean they become de-humanized. In fact, some may require addition protection.
“Oftentimes LGBT prisoners are even more vulnerable given either that they are perceived differently and may be assaulted more frequently,” he said.
Eventually Ashley Diamond reached a financial settlement paid by the Georgia department of corrections, and she was released early for her burglary charge.
Correction: Today's story mistakenly identified U.S. Attorney John Horn as Joe Horn. This has been fixed above, however, still appears in the video. We regret the error.