The Numbers Behind Pennsylvania’s Turmoil Over Transgender Girls in Jail

Nearly 200 organic males behind bars in Pennsylvania’s state prisons say they establish as girls. A small variety of them are looking for a switch to a girls’s jail. 

However the Pennsylvania Division of Corrections says it doesn’t have info on what number of of those organic males who establish as girls have been convicted of intercourse crimes. 

In November, an inmate born as a male who says he identifies as a transgender girl sued the Dauphin County Jail in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. 

Within the swimsuit, the inmate claims he requested officers to not be housed with males, and that he had been groped by different inmates and assaulted by guards.   

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania introduced a $300,000 settlement June 2 between the Allegheny County Jail and a self-identified transgender girl housed with male inmates over an alleged sexual assault within the jail.

This case isn’t related to Pennsylvania state prisons, however Allegheny County is the second most populous county in Pennsylvania. The jail is situated in downtown Pittsburgh.

In California, a girls’s group sued the state in November, alleging {that a} organic male raped a feminine inmate after being  tranferred to a girls’s jail as a result of he mentioned he identifies as a transgender girl. 

In New Jersey, two feminine inmates grew to become pregnant after having consensual intercourse with a self-identified transgender girl on the state’s solely girls’s jail, corrections officers introduced in April. 

Solely 10 of the 193 organic males who say they establish as girls requested a switch to a girls’s facility, the Pennsylvania Division of Corrections mentioned in response to a public information request from The Heritage Basis’s Oversight Mission. (The Each day Sign is Heritage’s multimedia information group.)

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5 of the ten who requested a switch had been convicted of sexual abuse or intercourse offenses, in response to the information supplied to this point by the corrections division. None of these convicted of a intercourse offense was transferred, the company mentioned in its response to The Each day Sign’s public info request.

Nevertheless, in response to the query of what number of male inmates who self-identify as girls have at the least one conviction for both sexual abuse or sexual assault, the Division of Corrections mentioned: “This info doesn’t exist.”

Maria A. Bivens, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Division of Corrections, advised The Each day Sign in an e mail:

The DOC has entry to prison historical past, medical, disciplinary, and different info of all incarcerated folks within the division’s custody and care; nevertheless, the format for monitoring transgender people doesn’t embrace info relative to their prison histories. Because of this, no responsive information exist relative to the unique RTKL [Right to Know Law] request.

Relating to the comparatively small variety of switch requests, Bivens mentioned Pennsylvania’s corrections division follows the necessities of the 2003 federal Jail Rape Elimination Act. 

A provision of that regulation states: 

In deciding whether or not to assign a transgender or intersex inmate to a facility for male or feminine inmates, and in making different housing and programming assignments, the company shall think about on a case-by-case foundation whether or not a placement would make sure the inmate’s well being and security, and whether or not the location would current administration or safety issues.

One other provision of the federal regulation states: “A transgender or intersex inmate’s personal views with respect to his or her personal security shall be given critical consideration.” 

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California goes past the federal regulation. In 2021, the state’s Legislature handed laws–referred to as the Transgender Respect, Company and Dignity Act–designed to make state prisons extra accommodating to inmates who say they establish as transgender.

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