SAN FRANCISCO—Transgender San Francisco County prison inmates will soon have the option to be sent to a prison based on their gender preference.
San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi made the announcement on Thursday, September 10. According to Mirkarimi, the change will begin to take place in a few weeks and is set to be completed by the end of the year.
At the current moment, only transgender inmates who had fully transitioned were able to be housed at a facility based on their preferred gender. Mirkarimi’s plan will now give pre-operation inmates the option as well.
The inmates in question will be subject to a review process where an advisory committee will determine their eligibility to be transferred.
Upon being approved, the inmates will then be required to attend classes before being transferred to their new facilities.
Inmates will be allowed access to the prison system’s charter high schools along with substance abuse programs and women empowerment classes.
Currently, San Francisco’s transgender inmates are being held in an area of prison that is separate from the rest of the facility.
These inmates are known to be at high-risk of being targets of sexual abuse or harassment in prisons nationwide.
Ashley Diamond, a recently freed transgender woman recounted her account of her life behind bars at a Georgia state prison, claiming that for many incidents where she experienced assault, she was blamed over her assaulter.
In the San Francisco prison system, 6 of the 1,257 identify as transgender.
One of those inmates is Shiloh Quine, a transgender woman serving a life sentence.
Last month, Quine made headlines after she successfully petitioned to receive sex reassignment surgery paid for by the state of California, making it the first state to pay for such surgery. It was also decided that Quine would be eligible to be transferred to a women’s facility.
California currently has 385 inmates in its system that are receiving hormonal therapy, with 22 transitioning from female to male and 363 from male to female.