In 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Edmo v. Corizon, Inc. held a prison’s denial of gender-affirming care to a transgender adult prisoner constituted cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. However, the reality for incarcerated transgender juveniles is much different. It is incredibly hard, if not impossible, for transgender juveniles to obtain access to gender-affirming care while detained. Furthermore, states have begun banning gender-affirming healthcare for all transgender youth. Preliminary injunctions of these laws have been swift and successful; however, transgender juveniles remain left out of the conversation. While being restrained of their liberty, transgender youth held in juvenile facilities are prohibited from accessing life-saving gender-affirming healthcare, and they are suffering as a result. This Comment argues state legislatures should require that juvenile facilities provide gender-affirming healthcare to transgender juveniles and write guidelines for how to provide such care. It will provide up-to-date research on the best practices for treating gender dysphoria. It will analyze Edmo v. Corizon, Inc., and other recent caselaw regarding the constitutionality of denying gender-affirming care to adult transgender prisoners. It will analyze Brandt v. Rutledge and the state bans that prohibit transgender youth gender-affirming care. Using these cases, it will apply constitutional and public policy arguments that illustrate why incarcerated transgender juveniles should have access to gender-affirming care. Ultimately, this Comment will synthesize these arguments and provide a legislative proposal to best ensure incarcerated transgender juveniles have access to gender-affirming care.

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