New Law Allows Transgender Inmates to Choose Prison Based on Gender Identity
Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom signs new law
Men and women were previously placed in separate correctional facilities, while transgender inmates housed based on their biological sex.
But the new California law will permit transgender inmates to choose their prison based on their gender identity rather than their biological sex.
According to The Transgender Respect, Agency, and Dignity Act, officers must ask inmates during the intake process on how they identify.
Transgender inmates then can request to be placed in a facility that houses either men or women.
The law states the CDCR can't deny requests for the chosen prison based on the inmates' anatomy, sexual orientation, or "a factor present" among other inmates at the facility.
But the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation can deny the request of preferred prison if there is "management or security concerns."
The state must give the inmate a written statement explaining the decision while allowing the inmate a "meaningful opportunity" to object, according to The Hill.
The state must also reassess their housing if the inmates raise concerns about their health or safety.
The law also requires body searches on inmates based on the search policy of their chosen gender identity.
Officers are also required to address transgender inmates based on the pronouns of their choice.
“These new laws will help us better understand the impacts of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ+ community, establish a new fund to support our transgender sisters and brothers, and advance inclusive and culturally competent efforts that uphold the dignity of all Californians, regardless of who you are or who you love.”
Democrat Sen. Scott Wiener, who authored the bill, said the SB 132 would protect "particularly trans women who are subject to high levels of assault and harassment in men's facilities."
"It's just a false narrative about transgender people and about transgender women in particular that they're somehow not really women and are just trying to scam their way into women's bathrooms or facilities in order to do bad things," Wiener said.
"Overwhelmingly, the people who are being victimized are trans people."
Republican candidate for California's 6th congressional district, Chris Bish, who is currently opposing the law, said it puts female inmates at risk, particularly for sexual assault.
Earlier this month, Newsome signed a bill into law, giving judges more power and discretion to decide if adults who commit sodomy with minors should be placed on the sex offender registry.
The bill passed the Democrat-led legislature last week and immediately caused a backlash.
Proving again he‘s a true champion for the LGBTQ community — even when it’s hard — Gov Newsom signed #SB145, ending discrimination against LGBTQ young people on CA’s sex offender registry.— Senator Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) September 12, 2020
Thank you for seeing through the QAnon lies about this equality legislation. My statement: pic.twitter.com/MQlIIDxfnj