Hochul wants transgender inmates to choose prisons for housing

New York transgender inmates will be given the opportunity to choose where to stay based on their gender identity under a policy directive included in Governor Kathy Hochul’s $ 216 billion budget plan.

The comprehensive new policy states that inmates who have a gender identity that differs from their assigned gender at birth will have the right to request placement in prison housing “with persons of the gender consistent with such person’s gender identity. . “

Prison officers will have the final say on the request and make decisions on a “case-by-case basis” that take into account “safety, security or health concerns.”

Transgender inmates must also “have access to ward-issued underwear and clothing that conforms to individuals’ gender identities and must be able to receive underwear, clothing, and personal care items through package procedures,” according to language used in Hochul’s budget proposal. covers the state department of the Danish Prison and Probation Service and Supervision.

Transgender inmates also have the right to receive “gender-confirming medical and mental health care.”

Hochul’s plan also commands the DOCCS commissioner to draft rules and train officers to ban discrimination against transgender inmates.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul.
Governor Kathy Hochul orders the penitentiary to provide transgender inmates with appropriate gender clothing.
Mike Groll / Governor Kathy Hochul’s Office

“No employee of the department may discredit any person in the custody or custody of the department by intentionally referring to anyone, including but not limited to, a transgender, non-bisexual, nonbinary or intersex person, by using a word, pronoun or address form that is incorrect reflects the gender they identify with, ”the budget directive states.

Hochul said the policy of transgender rights requires a change in state law and therefore approval from state legislators.

New York prisons adopted the transgender housing policy in 2018.

In 2014, the city set up a special housing unit on Rikers Island for transgender inmates – those who are born as men but identify as women.

A general picture of the Manhattan Detention Complex located at 125 White Street in New York, NY.
There are no estimated figures on how many transgender inmates are in New York State jails.
Christopher Sadowski

LGBT activists praised Hochul for promoting the rights of transgender inmates.

“It’s a long wait. Transgender people are often victims of violence and hatred,” said Allen Roskoff, leader of Jim Owle’s LGBT Liberal Democratic Club.

“I commend Governor Hochul for having done a wonderful, wonderful thing. It is logical and forward-looking. Transgender people need support.”

There are 31,000 incarcerated people housed in 50 prisons and other state facilities. It was not immediately known how many people identify as transgender.

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