California Will Require Prisons to House Transgender People By Gender Identity

California will allow transgender incarcerated people to be housed according to their gender identity.

California will allow transgender incarcerated people to be housed according to their gender identity. Shutterstock

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

A new law will require California correctional facilities to place transgender people in housing units that align with their gender identity, not their sex assigned at birth.

State correctional facilities in California will be allowed to house transgender people in units that align with their gender identity, a change from previous policies that usually made those assignments by incarcerated people’s sex assigned at birth, under a law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom over the weekend.

The new law puts in place a number of new policies for transgender people in prison. During intake into a prison, each individual entering custody will be asked to disclose their gender identity and preferred pronouns “in a private setting.” Correctional staff are barred from disciplining a person for their responses to the question and will now be required to use the preferred gender pronouns of incarcerated people in all interactions and on written forms. 

Transgender people would only be placed in men or women’s facilities that differs from their preference if there are significant “management and security concerns." 

The change to the state’s transgender policies was included as part of a package of LGBTQ-focused legislation. Other measures included a law requiring local public health departments to track diseases that affect the LGBTQ community and another that bars insurance companies from denying disability coverage to people who test HIV positive. 

Newsom heralded the new laws as “some of the strongest” protections for the LGBTQ community in the nation.“Our march toward equality takes an additional step forward,” said Newsom in a statement. “These new laws will help us … advance inclusive and culturally competent efforts that uphold the dignity of all Californians, regardless of who you are or who you love.” 

The law’s author, California State Sen. Scott Wiener, called it “life-saving and deeply important.” 

“Incarcerated transgender people deserve to be housed in facilities consistent with their gender identity,” he said in a statement. “When we house trans people based on their birth-assigned gender, we place them at high risk of sexual assault and violence.”

One study of California prisons suggested that transgender incarcerated people are 13 times more likely to be raped than the general population. National surveys conducted by the U.S. Justice Department found that 40% of transgender incarcerated people reported sexual abuse or assualt by other incarcerated people or prison staff. As a result, transgender people are often put in solitary confinement 

Bamby Salcedo, president of the Translatina Coalition, a Los Angeles-based group that lobbied for the law’s passage, said that the changes will be a “life saver for many trans, gender nonconforming and intersex (TGI) people.” The law “will set precedence not only in our beautiful state but it will also provide the ability for other states to follow suit and validate the lives of TGI people,” Salcedo said in a statement.

California is not the first state to create such protections for transgender individuals. Connecticut and Massachusetts passed similar laws in 2018 and New York City made it a policy for their jails in the same year

Even with these protections, some advocates say more can still be done for LGBTQ people in prison. Nora Huppert, a legal fellow at the LGBTQ civil rights organization Lambda Legal said that prisons “can never be a truly safe place for trans people, but this legislation is a crucial first step toward eliminating the conditions that often result in harassment of and violence towards trans people, especially trans women.” 

Huppert said that legislation could more broadly “address the culture of transphobia and incarceration that sends [transgender people to prison] in the first instance.”

Emma Coleman is the assistant editor for Route Fifty.

FEATURED CASE STUDIES
Powered By The Atlas
Orlando Protects Citizens During Heavy Rain Events by Optimizing Water Data Intelligence
Orlando, FL, USA
Small city of Baldwin, GA with <5K residents reduces info calls to City Hall by 50%
Baldwin, GA, USA
Green Infrastructure acts as a bridge for Indigenous reconciliation in Vancouver, BC
W 63rd Ave & Yukon St, Vancouver, BC V5X 2J2, Canada

NEXT STORY: St. Louis Police Will No Longer Have to Reside Within City Limits

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.