Transgender inmates in California jails and prisons will now be assigned to the correct facilities.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Saturday that will no longer require transgender people to live in facilities based on their assigned sex at birth, the Associated Press reported.
Transgender incarcerated people, who are often placed in the wrong locations, are 13 times more likely to be raped in prison, researchers at UC Irvine found.
The law, which passed as Senate Bill 132, requires authorities to ask people for their gender identity during the intake process and then place them in the correct facility, according to the AP.
The state can only intervene based on “management or security concerns,” the AP reported. The bill’s author, State Sen. Scott Wiener, said he doesn’t expect that exception to be used much.
“This legislation represents a crucial measure toward reducing the violence and harassment faced by trans people incarcerated in the state of California,” Nora Huppert, an LGBTQ rights attorney, told Q Voice News. “Hopefully SB 132 is but the first step toward eliminating the conditions that expose trans people to violence and which are often created or ignored by the state.”
Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York City all have similar laws.
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