A transgender woman sued the Oregon Department of Corrections after she claimed the state denied her medical care.
Michale Wright settled with the state of Oregon for $167,500 after she accumulated $4,220 in medical bills following a suicide attempt. She also alleged she was subjected to harassment by corrections officers.
"This is a huge victory for our client and all transgender prisoners in Oregon," Mat dos Santos, the ACLU of Oregon's legal director, told The Oregonian. "For too long, Oregon prisons have been treating transgender prisoners in cruel ways and denying them life-saving care they need."
The Department of Corrections' director, Colette Peters, issued a statement disagreeing with some allegations that Wright made. Peters clarified that the department "never disputed the basic principles that transgender individuals within our care and custody should have access to quality medical and mental health care, and that they should be treated in a respectful, inclusive manner."
Wright, who is in a men's prison, said she was happy the state made the appropriate changes to ensure that she got medical care.
"It’s still hard," she said. "I’m around men all the time. I don’t identify as a man and I don’t relate to them. For me, it’s a negative experience."
The settlement reportedly resulted in the state agreeing to provide training for prison counselors, a support group for transgender inmates and the ability for transgender inmates in male prisons to use female products.
"She is now doing better than ever," Wright's mother said. "Michale has finally been able to get the health care she deserves."
Though many felt that the suit had a positive outcome, many criticized the lawsuit and the settlement.
"The people who awarded him/her the money should use common sense, but for some reason that seems lacking in America today, that is why we have o applogize and label everything, like COFFEE, HOT, people just don't know that hot coffee is hot, and criminals don't deserve these kind of privileges, the tax payers are already footing the bill for food and housing," one Mad World News reader commented on the site's Facebook page.
"Who ever the judge was or a trial by jury, they are idiots to the top degree," another wrote. "When any person or thing is going prison for breaking the law they have no rights. The Aclu another Soro's , Hillary friends are nothing but a communist gang operating within our own legal system. Maybe we should review the complete system."
"Elective medical procedures should not be allowed in prisons," wrote another commenter. "Taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for this."