Trump Is Threatening the Safety of Transgender Inmates with Obama Regulation Rollback

The Trump administration has just rolled back regulations, mostly from the Obama era, designed to make transgender prisoners more safe. Going forward the Bureau of Prisons will not use an inmate's gender identity, but their biological sex in determining which cell blocks they will be housed in, and which bathrooms transgender inmates can use.

“The designation to a facility of the inmate’s identified gender would be appropriate only in rare cases,” the new Transgender Offender Manual now says, as Buzzfeed's Dominic Holden, who broke the news Friday evening, reports.

Holden adds that the new Trump "policy apparently gives federal officials, for example, more leeway to place transgender women in cells alongside men — a circumstance that transgender advocates argue leaves transgender inmates vulnerable to violence and rape."

By comparison, under President Obama, the "rules said officials must give 'serious consideration' to the wishes of transgender and intersex inmates when assigning facilities, while also instructing prison staff to 'consider on a case-by-case basis whether a placement would ensure the inmate’s health and safety, and whether the placement would present management or security problems.'"

That is no longer policy.

Housing and bathrooms are not the only areas rollbacks are being made in the way the Bureau of Prisons treats transgender inmates.

"The new guidance also inserts the word 'necessary' into a section of the manual on hormone and medical treatment, indicating the agency will make determinations about what sort of hormone therapies and other gender transition services are required."

President Trump himself has a history of attacking transgender people. His July 26, 2017 tweets announcing he would institute a total ban on transgender service members in the armed forces falsely claimed their health care costs were too high.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.