June 3, 2024

Chairman Dick Durbin

711 Hart Senate Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Ranking Member Lindsey Graham

211 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Durbin, Ranking Member Graham, and Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee,

As the Director of Independent Women’s Forum’s Storytelling program and the co-producer of our mini-documentary series, “Cruel & Unusual Punishment: The Male Takeover of Women’s Prisons,” I am writing to express my vehement opposition to the nomination of Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

Throughout the months-long process of contacting, interviewing, and sensitively presenting the heartbreaking stories of female inmates within California’s Department of Corrections, I have discovered that the vast majority of incarcerated women have extensive histories of sexual trauma and abuse. These women are far from bigoted. In fact, several expressed trying to befriend the new transgender-identifying male inmates before being manipulated, harassed, abused, and even raped by them. 

Incarcerated women have already been sentenced and are simply trying to serve their time without being forced to encounter the same types of abusive men that often landed them in prison in the first place. Judge Netburn, with her history of twisting existing law to allow transgender-identifying male inmates access to women’s prisons, would completely derail the healing process that incarcerated women require to become productive citizens after their release. 

I strongly urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject President Biden’s nomination of Judge Netburn. 


Kelsey Bolar

Director of Storytelling

Independent Women’s Forum