California governor signs law requiring trans inmates to be housed by gender identity

On Saturday California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law that will require California prisons to house transgender inmates according to their gender identity.

The law requires officers to privately ask inmates if they identify as transgender, nonbinary or intersex. They must then be housed in the appropriate facility, and officers must refer to transgender inmates by their chosen pronouns.

In Oregon, there is no such requirement leaving Oregon prisoners to be handled on a case-by-case basis. Transgender women can still be housed in facilities with men, for example. However, in May 2019, an Oregon Circuit Court Judge ruled that a transgender woman inmate was to be housed either in a single cell, have a transgender cellmate or one who doesn’t identify as their sex assigned at birth. At the time of that ruling, the Oregon Corrections Department claimed it was developing more comprehensive policies to address the safety, health care and housing of transgender people in custody (Oregon case).


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