A new law signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday requires the state to house transgender inmates in prisons based on their gender identity.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation houses men and women in separate facilities, and transgender inmates often are housed based on their biological sex. Advocates have argued that this is dangerous, particularly for transgender women housed in male facilities.
The law says officers must ask inmates privately during the intake process if they identify as transgender, nonbinary or intersex. Those inmates can then request placement in a facility that houses either men or women.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation cannot deny requests solely because of inmates’ anatomy, sexual orientation or “a factor present” among other inmates at the facility, the law says.
By: Bradford Betz