The Miami police is being criticized for placing a popular transgender beauty influencer Nikita Dragun in a men's jail after she was arrested at the Goodtime Hotel in Miami Beach on Monday.
Jack Ketsoyan, Dragun's lawyer, said the situation with Nikita, who is legally female, being placed in a men's unit of a Florida jail is extremely disturbing and dangerous. The Hyper House star reportedly asked a Miami-Dade judge during her hearing whether she had to remain in the men's unit.
"The decision made by the Miami-Dade County corrections department directly violates their protocol, which mandates that transgender inmates are classified and housed based on safety needs and gender identity," Ketsoyan said.
However, the Miami-Dade prison in a statement denied that Dragun was placed in a men's unit. "All inmates undergoing our intake process remain in an open seating area, in the presence of correctional staff." A spokesperson for the prison said the social media influencer was placed in a holding cell by herself due to her high-profile status before being released. Moreover, the prison said that Dragun was escorted by an LGBTQ officer during her time at the corrections facility.
Common Occurrence for Trans Individuals in the U.S
Dragun's incarceration in a men's cell is a common occurrence for many trans individuals in the United States. Many corrections departments place individuals in facilities as per the person's assigned sex at birth or genitalia at the time they were arrested. And this has become a problem. Miami-Dada recorded recently faced a lawsuit by three transgender people for abuse which they faced in 2020 when they were misgendered.
University of California's 2007 study highlighted that incarcerated transgender people were 13 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than a random sample of incarcerated men. It stated that 59% of transgender prisoners reported having been sexually assaulted within a California correctional facility compared to 4.4% of the incarcerated population as a whole. Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), believes transgender women are not safe behind bars. He said nobody should be in danger just because they are in government custody.
Dragun Was Walking Around Naked
The 26-year-old was alleged of causing a disturbance for a long period of time. She was walking around the hotel pool unclothed. The arrest report states that Dragun allegedly threw a water bottle at a security guard and a police officer after they told her to stop her behaviour. The content creator was charged with misdemeanour disorderly conduct and felony battery of a law enforcement officer.
Dragun was released from jail after posting a $5,000 bond.