April 20, 2011

Chicago Jail Institutes New Policy - Transgender Inmates Will Now Be Incarcerated With Opposite Sex Inmates

Chicago, Illinois (The Weekly Vice) - The Cook County Sheriff's Office has announced that it has made a change in its policy towards the housing of transgender inmates.

According to Cook County Sheriff, Tom Dart, the Cook County jail will no longer house inmates according to their birth sex - but rather their "perceived" sex.

Yes, that means that female inmates who identify themselves as males may be placed with male inmates, even if they don't have the penis to go along with it. Male inmates who identify socially as a female may be housed with other female inmates.

Beginning on March 21, transgender inmates entering the jail will be screened by a Gender Identity Committee that decides where and how each inmate will be housed. Inmates now have the right, by law, to express their sexual orientation before the committee - and the committee has been directed to place the inmate in a housing unit that matches that identity.

The change in policy reportedly came when Sheriff Dart realized that there was no specific policy in place for transgender inmates. There was also a concern about the verbal and physical abuse transgender inmates often face while incarcerated with inmates of the same sex.

The new seven page policy details how the jail intends to handle a transgender inmate on topics ranging from housing to showering and grooming. Male inmates who identify as female, for example, will have access to feminine hygiene products.

Staff have also been ordered to modify they way they treat transgender inmates. - a pat down search, for example, now carries it's own set of procedures.

The jail, thus far, has already moved six transgender inmates to their new quarters - and have described their dispositions as "thriving."

The policy also requires jail security staff to attend sensitivity training on gender identity disorders.

Danny Vice
The Weekly Vice

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