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Court rules trans inmate Jade September be allowed to express her gender

Judge Chantal Fortuin found September's case amounted to unfair discrimination and ordered sensitisation training for all staff in the Department of Justice and Correctional Services.

Activists gathered in support of transgender inmate Jade September, who won a case against the Department of Justice and Correctional Services after she was  sent to a correctional facility for men. Picture: Jarita Kassen/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A judgement handed down in the Equality Court has ordered all staff in the Department of Justice and Correctional Services to undergo sensitisation training.

Transgender inmate Jade September has won her court case against the department on Monday after she argued that she was denied the right to express her gender behind bars.

September is serving a 15-year sentence at the Helderstroom Prison in Caledon, a correctional facility for men.

Judge Chantal Fortuin found September's case amounted to unfair discrimination by not allowing her to express herself as a transgender woman.

Nosipho Vidima, from sex worker advocacy group Sweat, described the decision as a victory.

“The fact that the judge recognised that gender and sexuality expression should not be hindered by the fact that someone is in prison means that our courts are becoming progressive.”