California allows hundreds of transgender inmates to request transfers to prison aligning with gender identity

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A California law that took effect this year has prompted hundreds of transgender prison inmates to put in a request to be transferred to a facility that aligns with their gender identity.

Since Jan. 1, 2021, some 261 such requests have been put in, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

San Quentin Prison Guard Lookout Tower-San Quentin State Prison is a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation state prison for men in San Quentin, unincorporated Marin County, California, United States. 

Though transgender inmates make up just over 1% of the Golden State’s prison population, the requests have led to heightened fears among women’s facilities that the supposed influx of transgender inmates will lead to increased sexual violence.

There are other concerns that some inmates will abuse the new law by making false claims about their gender identity so they can be transferred to a women’s prison.

Prisons spokeswoman Terry Thornton told The Times that the prison system maintains town hall discussions with inmates on a regular basis and that allegations of misconduct are taken seriously and investigated.

“[A] person’s gender identity is self-reported and CDCR will evaluate any request submitted by an incarcerated person for gender-based housing,” she said.

For the time being, the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed these transfers. Fox News has reached out to the CDCR but did not hear back before publication.

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