New California rules would give trans prisoners access to gendered clothing, cosmetics
New proposed rules would give California prison inmates access to items corresponding with their gender identity.
The changes are being made in response to a lawsuit which eventually led to the state offering gender-reassignment surgery to a prison inmate, becoming the first state in the US to do so.
Examples given by the state corrections department include underwear, cosmetics and aftershave.
The items given would correspond to a prison inmate’s gender identity.
Some of the items were ordered by a federal magistrate to be given following a lawsuit by trans inmate Shiloh Quine, but her lawyers are still battling with the state.
Another hearing is set for 27 April, and new rules would be subject to a public hearing before they take effect.
Under its terms, the state agreed to allow inmates who are transgender or have gender dysphoria access to clothing, toiletries and other items consistent with their gender identities. For those like Shiloh whose doctors agree that surgery is medically appropriate, the state will pay for the procedure. The cost was not specified.
Kria Hayashi, the executive director for the Transgender Law Centre said that the surgery set precedent for others seeking surgery.
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Also in the state, a bill introduced would make it easier for transgender inmates in the state to legally change their name or gender.
The bill, SB310, was introduced last month by State Senator Toni Atkins.
The Democrat says that her bill would allow state prison inmates to apply for legal changes without having to seek approval from prison officials.
Atkins’ bill would apply to those incarcerated in county jails.
The bill would effectively equalise the right of those incarcerated to change their name or gender legally as those outside of prison.
The Senator argues that the new law will help trans inmates’ chances of full rehabilitation.