A 16-year-old transgender girl was released from the adult prison in Niantic on June 24 after a public outcry that drew national attention to her imprisonment without charge.

The girl, known as Jane Doe to protect her privacy, was incarcerated April 8 after the state Department of Children and Families, taking advantage of an obscure state law, obtained a court order to transfer her to the custody of the Department of Correction. The DCF contended that Jane was too violent for its new, secure facility for girls in Middletown.

The ACLU of Connecticut submitted a brief arguing against the transfer on constitutional grounds, but the juvenile court judge refused to consider it. The case attracted the attention of advocates for children, transgender people, criminal justice and civil rights throughout Connecticut and the country, and sparked rallies in Hartford and New York.

Jane, who has been abused and traumatized since early childhood, was held in isolation at the York Correctional Institution, because federal law prohibits imprisoning juveniles with adult offenders. A month into her imprisonment, Gov. Dannel P.Malloy’s office released a statement saying that Jane “must be moved to another setting as quickly as possible.”

That move took another month and a half, while Jane’s lawyers pursued a federal lawsuit seeking her release. Finally, after 77 days, DCF transferred Jane to the Middletown facility for girls while awaiting her admission to a private treatment center in Massachusetts.

“Jane should never have been in prison and we will press for repeal of the enabling statute so that nothing like this ever happens again,” said ACLU of Connecticut Legal Director Sandra Staub.