The US state of California is now set to permit the transfer of several hundred transgender prisoners to facilities matching their preferred gender identity should applications prove successful.
A new state law that came into effect on January 1st has seen over 260 requests made by convicted criminals to the state’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).
According to US media, it is believed almost all the cases involve transfer requests into female prison facilities, with 255 of the 261 applications already submitted being to move from male to female prisons.
And, although inmates identifying as transgender constitute under 2% of the Californian prison population, there are already concerns that the transfer of so many biological males into female facilities could lead to heightened levels of sexual related attacks between prisoners.
A Los Angles Times on Monday this week said that some prison guards in the state have been warning female inmates that “men are coming”.
A spokeswoman for the state’s prison system, Terry Thornton was quoted as telling the Los Angeles Times that “[A] person’s gender identity is self-reported and CDCR will evaluate any request submitted by an incarcerated person for gender-based housing.”
She made no reported comment on the huge imbalance of convicted criminals currently in male facilities requesting rehousing in prisons housing members of the opposite sex.