California Implements Sex-Reassignment Surgery Guidelines for Transgender Prisoners
California prison officials on Tuesday implemented the first guidelines under which transgender inmates can receive sex-reassignment surgery funded by the state. To qualify under the guidelines, inmates seeking sex-reassignment surgery "must have at least two years left in prison," have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, have shown interest in the procedure for at least two years and have lived as their preferred gender for at least one year. The policy change follows a settlement in August in which the state for the first time agreed to cover sex-reassignment surgery for a transgender inmate. According to Joyce Hayhoe, a spokesperson for the federal court-appointed officer in charge of the state's health care for inmates, the guidance is believed to be the first to be established by a U.S. prison system.
- "California Sets Inmate Sex Reassignment Rules" (Thompson, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 10/21).