Federal court rules in favor of transgender Missouri inmate

ST. LOUIS – A federal district court in St. Louis has ruled that the Missouri prison system must provide hormone therapy for a transgender inmate serving a murder sentence.

The ruling Tuesday was in a lawsuit filed on behalf of Potosi Correctional Center inmate Jessica Hicklin, who is serving life without parole for a drug-related killing in Clinton, Missouri. Hicklin is 39. She went by the birth name James and was 16 at the time of the killing.

Her lawsuit challenged a Missouri Department of Corrections “freeze-frame” policy that bars hormone therapy for inmates who weren’t receiving it before being incarcerated. The ruling bans the state from enforcing that policy.

The ruling by U.S. Magistrate Judge Noelle C. Collins follows a preliminary injunction granted in February that ordered hormone therapy to begin.