261 Inmates Request Transfer from Male to Female Prisons Under Transgender Law

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The Los Angeles Times today reported that 261 inmates in the state’s prison system are looking to switch institutions based on their gender identification.

The moves are allowed under California’s SB132 law that went into effect on January 1st. Most of the transfer requests have been biological males requesting transfer to female prisons.

What is SB32?

Existing law establishes the state prisons under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Existing law authorizes a person sentenced to imprisonment in the state prison or a county jail for a felony to be, during the period of confinement, deprived of those rights, and only those rights, as is reasonably related to legitimate penological interests.


This bill would require the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to, during initial intake and classification, and in a private setting, ask each individual entering into the custody of the department to specify the individual’s gender identity whether the individual identifies as transgender, nonbinary, or intersex, and their gender pronoun and honorific. The bill would prohibit the department from disciplining a person for refusing to answer or not disclosing complete information in response to these questions.

The bill would authorize a person under the jurisdiction of the department to update this information. The bill would prohibit staff, contractors, and volunteers of the department from failing to consistently use the gender pronoun and honorific an individual has specified in verbal and written communications with or regarding that individual that involve the use of a pronoun or honorific.

The bill would require the department, for a person who is transgender, nonbinary, or intersex to only conduct a search of that person according to the search policy for their gender identity or according to the gender designation of the facility where they are housed, based on the individual’s search preference. The bill would additionally require the department to house the person in a correctional facility designated for men or women based on the individual’s preference, except as specified.

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