Protections for Transgender Inmates Under PREA: a Comparison of State Correctional Policies in the United States
- 524 Downloads
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) contains several protections for transgender inmates; specifically, that prison administration understands key definitions of “transgender,” that inmates are provided with the appropriate classification and housing, and they are kept safe from victimization by other inmates and staff. A total of ten states were found to be fully compliant by the Department of Justice deadline in 2015, but these policies are changing rapidly in the USA. This analysis aims to determine the status of each state’s protections using publicly available information about correctional policies. We find that approximately half of the states in the USA have published policies consistent with PREA, but several maintain policies regarding transgender inmates that are in direct conflict with federal law. Recommendations for compliance are provided.
KeywordsTransgender inmates PREA compliance
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Alabama Department of Corrections. (2005). Gender identity disorder. Retrieved from http://www.doc.state.al.us/docs/AdminRegs/AR637.pdf.
- Alabama Department of Corrections. (2016). Inmate sexual abuse and harassment. Retrieved from http://www.doc.state.al.us/docs/AdminRegs/AR454.pdf.
- Arizona Department of Corrections. (2015). Department order manual, chapter 800: Inmate management (Section 810, Management of LGBTI Inmates). November 26th. Retrieved from https://corrections.az.gov/sites/default/files/policies/800/0810_-_effective_11-26-15.pdf.
- Au, J. (2016). A remedy for male-to-female transgender inmates: Applying disparate impact to prison placement. American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy, and the Law, 24(3), 371.Google Scholar
- Beck, A. J. (2014). Sexual victimization in prisons and jails reported by inmates, 2011-2012 (supplemental tables: prevalence of sexual victimization among transgender adult inmates). Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics. (NCJ 241399).Google Scholar
- Beck, A. J., Berzofsky, M., Caspar R., & Krebs, C. (2013). Sexual victimization in prisons and jails reported by inmates, 2011–2012. National Inmate Survey, 2011–2012. Washington DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics. (NCJ241399).Google Scholar
- Bureau of Justice Assistance. (2017). Prison rape elimination act. Retrieved from https://www.prearesourcecenter.org/about/prison-rape-elimination-act-prea.
- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. (2016). Prison rape elimination act (PREA). Retrieved from http://www.cor.pa.gov/About%20Us/Documents/DOC%20Policies/008%20Prison%20Rape%20Elimination%20Act.pdf.
- Cook County Sheriff. (2017). Cook county department of corrections. [Website]. http://www.cookcountysheriff.org/doc/doc_main.html.
- Dedoose. (2017). Dedoose: Great research made easy. Retrieved from http://www.dedoose.com/.
- District of Columbia Department of Corrections. (2014). Gender classification and housing. Retrieved from https://doc.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/doc/publication/attachments/PP%204020.3E%20Gender%20Classification%20and%20Housing.pdf.
- Faithful, R. (2009). Transitioning our prisons toward affirmative law: Examining the impact of gender classification policies on US transgender prisoners. Modern American, 5, 3.Google Scholar
- Glezer, A., McNeil, D. E., & Binder, R. L. (2013). Transgendered and incarcerated: A review of the literature, current policies and laws, and ethics. Journal of American Academy of Psychiatry and Law, 41(4), 551–559.Google Scholar
- Hawaii Department of Public Safety. (2014). Prison rape elimination act. Retrieved from http://dps.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/ADM.08.08.pdf.
- Hawaii Department of Public Safety. (2015). Cross-hormone therapy transsexual/intersex patients. Retrieved from http://dps.hawaii.gov/wpcontent/uploads/2016/03/COR.10.1E.16.pdf.
- Hawkins, K. (2011). Jail has new policy for transgender inmates: Gender-identification, rather than sex at birth respected under policy. NBC Chicago [Online Article]. http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/cook-county-jail-transgender-inmates-11951694.html.
- Idaho Department of Corrections. (2011). Gender identity disorder: Healthcare for offenders with. Retrieved from https://www.idoc.idaho.gov/content/policy/562.
- Iyama, K. (2012). “We have tolled the bell for him”: An analysis of the prison rape elimination act and California’s compliance as it applies to transgender inmates. Law & Sexuality, 21, 23–48.Google Scholar
- Jenness, V., Maxson, C. L., Matsuda, K. N., & Sumner, J. M. (2007). Violence in California correctional facilities: An empirical examination of sexual assault. Report submitted to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.Google Scholar
- Jenness, V., Sumner, J., Sexton, L., & Alamillo-Luchese, N. (2014). Cinderella, Wilma Flinstone, and Xena the Warrior Princess: Capturing diversity among transgender women in men’s prisons. In C. Renzetti & K. Bergen (Eds.), Understanding diversity: Celebrating difference, challenging inequality (pp. 107–124). Upper Saddle River: Allyn & Bacon Press.Google Scholar
- Jones, L., & Brookes, M. (2013). Transgender offenders: A literature review. Prison Service Journal, 206, 11–18.Google Scholar
- Kansas Department of Corrections. (2016). Coordinated response to sexual abuse and harassment. Retrieved from https://www.doc.ks.gov/kdoc-policies/AdultIMPP/chapter-10/10103.pdf.
- Kentucky Corrections. (2017). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex offenders (LGBTI). Retrieved from https://corrections.ky.gov/communityinfo/Policies%20and%20Procedures/Documents/CH14/CPP%2014.8%20eff%202-3-17.pdf.
- Maine Department of Corrections. (2015). Management of transgender and intersex prisoners and residents. Retrieved from http://maine.gov/corrections/PublicInterest/policies.shtml.
- Mazza, G.J. (2012). Review panel on prison rape: Report on sexual victimization in prisons and jails. U.S Department of Justice, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
- McGaughy, L. (2018, March 26). Trump likely to undo Obama’s transgender prison policy ending Texas court battle. Dallas News. Retrieved from https://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas-politics/2018/01/04/trump-likely-undo-obama-era-transgender-prisoners-policy-ending-texas-court-battle.
- Michigan Department of Corrections. (2015). Gender identity disorder (GID)/gender dysphoria. Retrieved from http://www.michigan.gov/documents/corrections/04_06_184_502843_7.pdf.
- New Hampshire Department of Corrections. (2015). Standards for treatment of gender dysphoria. Retrieved from https://www.nh.gov/nhdoc/policies/documents/6-85.pdf.
- New York State Department of Corrections. (2013). Gender identity disorder. Retrieved from https://srlp.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/HSPM-1.31-May-20-2013-version.pdf.
- Okamura, A. (2011). Equality behind bars: Improving the legal protections of transgender inmates in the California prison system. Hastings Race & Poverty Law Journal, 8(2), 109–136.Google Scholar
- Oregon Department of Corrections. (2017). Nonconforming gender (inmate). Retrieved from https://secure.sos.state.or.us/oard/viewSingleRule.action;JSESSIONID_OARD=5QYCmItyAMvWSZdjUUDOFhYqFdRYzcIuPIo11dy69AfflILnxEia!1243901809?ruleVrsnRsn=42800.
- Peek, C. (2003). Breaking out of the prison hierarchy: Transgender prisoners, rape, and the eighth amendment. Santa Clara Law Review, 44, 1211.Google Scholar
- Pew Research Center (2014). Party affiliation by state. [Website]. Retrieved from http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/compare/party-affiliation/by/state/
- Prison Rape Elimination Act, § 117–974 (2003)Google Scholar
- Scheel, M. D. and Eustace, C. (2002). Model protocols on the treatment of transgender persons by San Francisco County jail. National Lawyers Guild and the City & County of San Francisco Human Rights Commission.Google Scholar
- Scott, A. V. and Lines, R. (1999). HIV/AIDS in the male-to-female transsexual and transgendered prison population: A comprehensive strategy. Briefing paper from the Prisoners’ HIV/AIDS Support Action Network (PASAN).Google Scholar
- Scott, S. (2012). “One is not born, but becomes a woman.” a fourteenth amendment argument in support of housing male-to-female transgender in mates in female facilities. University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, 15(4), 1259–1297.Google Scholar
- Shah, B. A. (2010). Lost in the gender maze: Placement of transgender inmates in the prison system. Journal of Race, Gender and Ethnicity, 5(1), 39–56.Google Scholar
- Shay, G. (2013). PREA’s elusive promise: Can DOJ regulations protect LGBT incarcerated people? Loyola Journal of Public Interest Law, 15, 343–356.Google Scholar
- State of Delaware Department of Correction. (2016). Transgender offenders. Retrieved from http://www.doc.delaware.gov/downloads/policies/policy_8-60-A.pdf.
- State of Indiana Department of Corrections. (2014). Sexual abuse prevention. Retrieved from http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/02-01-115_Sexual_Abuse_Prevention__12-1-2014.pdf.
- State of Vermont Department of Corrections. (2015). Gender identification, care, and custody. Retrieved from http://doc.vermont.gov/about/policies/rpd/correctional-services-301-550/401-500-programs-security-and-supervision/432-01-gender-identification-care-and-custody.
- Tarzwell, S. (2006). The gender lines are marked with razor wire: Addressing state prison policies and practices for the management of transgender prisoners. Columbia Human Rights Law Review, 38(3), 166–219.Google Scholar
- United States Department of Justice. (2015). FY 2015 list of certification and assurance submissions. [Online Document]. Retrieved from https://www.bja.gov/Programs/15PREA-AssurancesCertifications.pdf.
- United States Department of Justice. (2018). Transgender offender manual. [Online Document]. Retrieved from https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4459297-BOP-Change-Order-Transgender-Offender-Manual-5.html.
- Virginia Department of Corrections. (2017). Transfers, institution reassignments. Retrieved from https://vadoc.virginia.gov/about/procedures/documents/800/830-5.pdf.