After trans teen Jane Doe briefly escapes custody, #JusticeForJane campaign to hold rally for her release
Jane Doe representation by Molly Crabapple http://mollycrabapple.com/
On Tuesday, the transgender teenager known as Jane Doe, who was imprisoned by order of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) in May without criminal charges against her, briefly escaped from custody at a juvenile center for delinquent boys before being found by police hours later. Since April, Jane Doe has been held largely in isolation from her peers by order of the DCF, despite the organization's claims that she was not in solitary confinement.
The #JusticeForJane campaign, and followers using the hashtag #JusticeForJane, has continued to demand Jane Doe's release from prison and from the custody of the DCF. They have urged people to take action through tweeting at the DCF in Connecticut and taking photos with a sign displaying the hashtag. The campaign will be holding a rally and march for Jane starting at the DCF Headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut, and ending at the State Capitol building on September 27. Find out more about the rally here.
Jane Doe was placed at the York Correctional Facility, an adult prison, in April after a judge granted a request from the DCF, citing a rarely used Connecticut law. In May, the DCF announced that Jane Doe had been moved to a "private cottage" on the prison grounds, but her lawyer, Aaron J. Romano, criticized the announcement as a distraction from the teen girl's suffering.
“She is not in a 'cottage.' That word creates the illusion of Mother Goose," Romano said in May, according to the New Haven Register. "She’s in prison! It’s a disgrace to see DCF again attempting to distance themselves from what they’ve done: putting a child in jail. They’re trying to cover it up with their use of language.”
Earlier this year, trans activist and writer Janet Mock wrote a moving open letter to Jane Doe, and trans activist and writer Reina Gossett wrote a powerful essay framing Jane Doe's imprisonment as part of "a system that punishes the resilience that it takes to survive a lifetime of trauma." Attorney Chase Strangio detailed his experience meeting Jane Doe, and urged readers not to forget her humanity.
In June, artist Molly Crabapple shared a representative portrait of Jane Doe on social media as part of an effort to humanize the teen whose name and image have been kept anonymous by the DCF. That same month, Jane Doe was moved to a psychiatric facility in Massachusetts, and then in July was transferred to the center for delinquent boys where she has been since. GLAAD's own Tiq Milan spoke out about the situation at that time, saying:
"It's heartbreaking to learn that this young girl is still being shuffled around the system and misgendered by those who are charged with taking care of her. Placing Jane in an all-male facility will not stabilize her situation. If anything it may cause more harm. She deserves the basic right of being acknowledged and respected as the gender she identifies with before any forward progress can actually happen."
GLAAD will continue following this story and the work of the #JusticeForJane campaign, and report any updates.