by WorldTribune Staff, September 28, 2020
Inmates in the California prison system will now have the opportunity to be housed based on their gender identity.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday signed a law which requires the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to 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.
According to the law, prisons can’t deny requests solely because of inmates’ anatomy, sexual orientation or “a factor present” among other inmates at the facility, the law says.
Requests can be denied, however, because of “management or security concerns.” If a request is denied, the state must give the inmate a “meaningful opportunity” to object. If inmates raise concerns about their health or safety, the law says the state must reassess.
The law also requires corrections officers to address transgender inmates based on the pronouns of their choice. And it requires officers to search inmates based on the search policy of their gender identity.
“California has some of the strongest pro LGBTQ+ laws in the nation and with the bills signed today, our march toward equality takes an additional step forward,” Newsom said in a statement.
“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.”