On September 26, 2016, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, along with the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project (PILP) and Saul Ewing LLP, filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Niara Burton, a transgender woman who has been incarcerated in seven different male prisons by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) over the past four years. During her incarceration, Burton has been subjected to repeated sexual harassment and abuse, including being raped by another prisoner and forced by a guard to perform oral sex.  The lawsuit alleges that the DOC has failed to put policies and training in place to ensure the safety of transgender women inmates and asks that she be placed in a women’s prison.

Press Release


Sara Rose, Witold Walczak (ACLU-PA); Alexandra Morgan-Kurtz (PA Institutional Law Project); Alexander Bilus and Joshua Richards (Saul Ewing LLP)

Date filed

September 26, 2016


U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania