Biden allows trans-identified men in women’s prisons

Prison for women. |

The United States Department of Justice has unveiled new guidelines allowing male inmates in federal prisons to be housed with female inmates.

The DOJ’s Federal Bureau of Prisons outlined the changes to the “Transgender Offender Handbook” in a 14-page document released Jan. 13. The stated goal of the update is to “ensure that the Bureau of Prisons (Bureau) properly identifies, tracks, and provides services to the transgender population.

Specifically, the changes remove language inserted into the “Transgender Offender Manual” by the Trump administration. The Trump administration has demanded that the Transgender Executive Council “use biological sex as the initial determination for designation” of trans-identified inmates. Under the Trump administration’s approach, implemented in 2018, “naming an inmate’s identified gender at a facility would only be appropriate in rare cases.”

The aforementioned language has since been removed from the “Transgender Offender Handbook”. Additional language removed from the manual includes a statement stating that “training materials and current information on the management of transgender inmates” “will include information regarding best practices for maintaining the safety of transgender inmates, while ensuring the safety and security of good order in federal prisons and the safety of staff, inmates and the public.

In addition to removing language added to the “Transgender Offender Manual” by the Trump administration, the Biden administration now requires prison staff to address trans-identified inmates using their preferred pronouns. Under the Trump administration, prison staff had the flexibility to decide whether to address trans-identified inmates using pronouns that matched the chosen gender identity. From now on, prison officials will either have to refer to trans-identified inmates by their surname or “pronouns associated with the inmate’s identified gender.”

“It is not permitted to deliberately and repeatedly confuse the sex of an inmate,” the guidelines state.

In the absence of Trump administration guidelines assigning biological sex as the primary determining factor for placing a trans-identified inmate, designating such inmates to prisons that match their biological sex or gender identity chosen will be on a “case-by-case basis”.

The document also contains a brand new section outlining the process that trans-identified inmates should follow when seeking “trans affirmation surgeries.” Trans-identified prisoners now have the possibility of submitting a request for “surgical intervention” to the director of their prison.

Additionally, the document defines gender as “a construct used to classify a person as male, female, both, or neither,” adding, “Gender encompasses aspects of social identity, psychological identity and human behavior”. The definition makes no mention of the role that human biology plays in determining gender. The definition, one of many included in the “Transgender Offender Manual,” remains unchanged from the Trump administration.

Female inmates in California have voiced their opposition to a recently enacted law that allows the placement of male inmates who identify as female in women’s prisons, citing concerns for female inmates’ safety in light of biological differences between men and women.

One inmate recalled an interaction between a young inmate and a trans-identified male in the prison yard. “He talked about ‘getting along’ with women and he had no intention of getting rid of his penis,” she reported.

“We heard these guys saying to each other, ‘Stick to the plan.’ What exactly is the ‘plan’? she asked. “We are not sure. I won’t be surprised [when] the first female becomes pregnant.

Another inmate, who suffered “sexual abuse, gang rape, rape by a co-defendant, [and] domestic violence,” wrote about “the horror of having to wait for a potential sex offender with a penis to be housed in a cell with me.” She also feared “being the only one left alone in the cell with someone who [has] 25% more muscle than me.

The Women’s Liberation Front, a feminist group, has publicly shared letters from these women expressing their concerns and fears as part of its efforts to preserve single-sex prisons.

Just before the Bureau of Prisons unveiled the document with updated guidelines on how to deal with trans-identified female inmates, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., introduced the Prevention of Violence Against Female Inmates Act. Its legislation would “prohibit the Bureau of Prisons from using asserted ‘gender identity’ to house inmates of one sex with inmates of the opposite sex” and withhold federal funding from state prisons that house prisoners based on of their declared gender identity as opposed to their biological sex.

“President Biden’s plan to house male and female prisoners together will put women at risk,” Cotton said in a statement. “Documented cases prove that placing men – including those who identify” as women – in women’s prisons puts female prisoners at increased risk of sexual assault. My bill will end the President’s ill-conceived plan and keep men and women separated in federal prisons.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be contacted at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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