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In the News: California Is First State to Adopt Sex Reassignment Surgery Policy for Prisoners
NIC News & Updates


California Is First StateThis New York Times article, “California Is First State to Adopt Sex Reassignment Surgery Policy for Prisoners,” describes the new California prison policy on providing sex reassignment surgery to some prison inmates. The policy grew out of two successful lawsuits filed by transgender inmates.

From the article:

  • “California has set a model for the country,” said Kris Hayashi, executive director of the Transgender Law Center, a San Francisco-based group that represented the inmates in both cases. “This is care that, for too long, people have been denied simply because of who they are. It’s especially important because transgender people are incarcerated at six times the rate of the general population.”
  • Out of 125,000 inmates in the California system, 400 are being treated for gender dysphoria, the condition of not identifying as the sex indicated by bodily organs, Ms. Hayhoe said. She said that gender reassignment operations and related care for one inmate could cost $50,000 to $100,000, compared with $500 to $3,000 a year for hormone therapy alone.
  • A review committee of doctors and psychologists will decide whether to allow surgery, based on a prisoner’s physical and mental condition.
  • Under the new policy, the state will cover mastectomies as well as operations to remove and reconstruct reproductive organs. But it will not cover services the state considers cosmetic, including implants or procedures or drugs for hair removal or hair growth.

Read the full article


For additional resources go to NIC’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Offenders.


Posted Thu, Oct 22 2015 9:32 AM by Susan Powell


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