A new bill has been signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom that would allow trans inmates to be placed in prisons based on their gender identity.
Inmates will now be housed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) based on their gender identity, and not their gender assigned at birth. However, this will only be done if there aren’t any management or security concerns with individual inmates.
The law now requires officers to ask inmates privately during the intake process of their gender identity, and then inmates can request to be placed in a facility that houses men or women.
With the new law, inmates’ requests cannot be denied only because of their anatomy, and the state will have to provide a written statement to the inmate explaining the decision and give them the opportunity to object if they believe otherwise.
In a statement, the Governor said that California has some of the strongest pro LGBTQ+ laws in the country, and the bill is one step forward toward equality.
“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.”
Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island Governors have already signed similar laws that protect trans inmates.