Content Note: Article contains detailed descriptions.
It’s demeaning enough that (pseudonymn) John Smith was subject to invasive exams that violate the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act, or PREA, which prohibits jails and prisons from conducting exams solely to determine someone’s genital status. After multiple parties inspected his genitals, he finally refused further exams, and according to New York Focus, “Instead of finishing the intake process, prison officials then placed Smith in “medical lock,” a solitary cell in the medical reception area where people — typically those with contagious illnesses — are confined for 23 hours a day.”
NYF continues, “In addition to the well documented mental anguish that solitary confinement places on people, the heat in the medical lock cell made it unbearable, Smith said. There was poor ventilation, and the location of the room’s window made airflow impossible. Even though it was January, it felt like “sitting in a sauna in the middle of summertime,” he said. When Smith tried to remove some clothes to cool down, prison officials ordered him to put them back on. Officials only gave him ice and water during meal times, despite his requests for water throughout the day. For several days, they denied him the proper dosage for his hormone treatments, which made the heat sickness worse, and they frequently misgendered him, the lawsuit alleges.”