NY Governor Allows Inmates to Choose Housing Based on Gender Identity
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) will allow inmates to choose which facility they are incarcerated in according to their gender identity.
The new policy, which comes as part of Hochul’s record-setting new $216 million budget plan, allows for inmates whose gender identity differs from their assigned sex at birth will have the right to request placement in prison housing “with persons of the gender that is consistent with such person’s gender identity.”
Prison wardens will have the final say on the request, making decisions on a “case-by-case basis” that takes “safety, security or health concerns” into account.
Transgender inmates also have the right to obtain “gender affirming medical and mental health care.”
Additionally, the governor’s plan orders the state Department of Correctional Services and Supervision commissioner to draft rules and train officers against discrimination against transgender inmates.
“No employee of the department shall misgender any individual in the care or custody of the department by intentionally referring to someone, including but not limited to, a transgender, gender nonconforming, nonbinary or intersex person, using a word, pronoun or form of address that does not correctly reflect the gender with which they identify,” the directive reads.
LGBT activists praised Hochul for the move.
“It’s long overdue. Transgender persons are often the victims of violence and hate,” said Allen Roskoff, head of the Jim Owles LGBT Liberal Democratic Club.
“I commend Governor Hochul for doing a wonderful, wonderful thing. It’s logical and forward looking. Transgender people need support.”