Transgender inmate claims unfair treatment at Russell County Ja - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Transgender inmate claims unfair treatment at Russell County Jail

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RUSSELL COUNTY, AL (WTVM) -

Incarcerated at the Russell County Jail for robbery, Victoria Owens' stay was far from an experience at a four star hotel. She told us that her treatment by jail staffers was worse than she could have ever imagined. 

"I went without my medication for four days. I'm HIV positive and I take a host of other medications that are for different things that I deal with," Owens said. 

Owens filed several grievances with the Sheriff Department's Corrections Division. She says she was still not given all of her required medicine and wants to know why. We took these questions to Sheriff Heath Taylor.

"We will give every inmate that comes into that jail the medication that they are prescribed by a doctor for a medical issue. We do not and will not, the citizens of this county will not pay for a transgender sex change," Sheriff Taylor said. 

Sheriff Taylor told us that he did speak with Owens about this issue. He says the jail did give her required medications, but other medications that she wanted were not required and were not issued by the jail. 

"I have been advised by our attorneys that medication for transgender transformation is not what we are going to prescribe and give in our jail," Sheriff Taylor said. 

We took this issue to a neutral party former Mayor and Columbus attorney Bob Poydasheff, who told us that everyone has the right to be who they are as long as they aren't harming anyone else. Whether or not the jail should provide the medicine is a different story.

"If it's not for the individuals but merely to maintain the individual's presumed life style to become female, I guess...that is not required. Then the city may not be paying the money for that," Poydasheff said. 

"I want to the jail in Alabama in Phenix City, Alabama treat people more humanely because the treatment I received was completely inhumane." 

Owens is still waiting to have her day in court. She also told us that it took members of the Russell County Jail almost two weeks to figure out that she was not a woman.

Sheriff Taylor told us that the female deputy who processed Owens into the jail has been reprimanded. 

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