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Monday, August 29, 2016

Missouri transgender inmate pushes for hormone treatment

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A transgender inmate sued the Missouri prison system for refusing to provide hormone therapy as she transitions to a woman. 

The lawsuit adds Jessica Hicklin's voice to those of prisoners in other states who argue that denying such treatment amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.

The federal lawsuit was filed last week in St. Louis by Jessica Hicklin, a 37-year old inmate serving life in prison without parole for first-degree murder (she was convicted as James Hicklin). The lawsuit also names Corizon Health, the health care provider for the Missouri Department of Corrections.

A reporter's message seeking comment from the corrections department was not returned. A Corizon spokeswoman declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates 3,200 transgender inmates are in U.S. prisons and jails.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.)