Stories

Bureau of Prisons rewrites rules for transgender inmates

Two-bed prison cell
At a prison in El Reno, Oklahoma. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons changed the wording in its Transgender Offenders Manual to dial down certain protections for transgender inmates, reports NPR.

The details: The new guidelines say inmates' housing facilities will be recommended based on biological sex, with gender identity being considered "in rare cases." The previous version of the manual, from January 2017, says "the TEC [Transgender Executive Council] will recommend housing by gender identity when appropriate."

Other changes, per NPR:

  • The manual's purpose has shifted from the language: "To ensure the Bureau of Prisons properly identifies, tracks, and provides services to the transgender population," to, "To ensure the Bureau of Prisons properly identifies, tracks, and provides services to the transgender population, consistent with maintaining security and good order in Federal prisons."
  • For inmates in a gender transition process, the manual now says, "Hormone and other necessary treatment may be provided after an individualized assessment of the requested inmate by institution medical staff."
    • The word "necessary" was added as part of the changes and allows the agency to "make determinations about what sort of hormone therapies and other gender transition services are required," per Buzzfeed News.