Thursday, 22 October 2015

Transgender inmates get free sex-reassignment surgery in California

California prison officials are setting a new standard: Transgender inmates can now receive state funded sex-reassignment surgery.

The policy, which took effect Tuesday, would allow prison mental health professionals to refer inmates for the surgery.

Under the new rule, prisoners seeking to change their biological sex would need to be evaluated by medical and mental health professionals, and present their cases to a six-member committee of doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists.

Committee members would vote on whether the surgery was warranted, and a committee chair who is a medical administrator in the prison system would hold a tie-breaking vote.

To qualify, inmates must be diagnosed with what is formally known as gender dysphoria, have expressed a desire for the sex change surgery for at least two years; and have lived as a member of the preferred gender for at least 12 months.

The state also agreed to allow inmates who are transgender or have gender dysphoria access to clothing, toiletries and other items consistent with their gender identities.

The state had earlier been ordered by a court to pay for sex reassignment surgery for Michelle Norsworthy, another inmate who was born male but identified as female.


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