Hundreds of Transgender Prisoners Requesting Move to Female Prisons in CA

Hundreds of transgender prisoners are requesting transfers to different gender facilities, primarily female facilities, in California.

A California law that took effect this year allows for transgender inmates to be placed in prison facilities of their gender choice–and, inmates are now filing such requests.

Between Jan. 1 and April 9, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has received 261 transfer requests from transgender inmates. Out of these, 255 requested to be housed in a female institution, and 6 were requesting to be housed in a male institution. 21 of the requests have so far been approved, and the remaining are still under review.

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The legislation passed in September 2020 states that the state can deny these requests, but only if it has “management or security concerns”. If a request is denied, the state must explain its decision in writing and give the inmate a “meaningful opportunity” to object.

In determining the need for gender placement, California legislators voiced their concerns about the vulnerability of transgender inmates to sexual abuse. They said that they needed a “safe environment” to “express their gender or to take medical, social or legal transition steps”.

The rule comes on the heels of a law that went into effect in January to also allow transgender prison inmates to undergo taxpayer-funded gender reassignment surgery.



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