Texas Prisons: Taxpayers Paying for Inmates’ Gender Identity Hormone Treatments

gender identity in prisons
AP Photo/Pat Sullivan

Texas taxpayers are now paying for hormone treatment for inmates who are transgender, have Gender Dysphoria Disorder, or have an Intersex condition.

Under the previous policy, offenders already on hormones when entering the system received continued treatment. Now TDCJ policy has been revised to evaluate and give hormone treatment to those who are later diagnosed with gender dysphoria and other intersex conditions.

The TDCJ is responsible for the cost of the treatment which is of course passed on to Texas taxpayers.

The Texas Observer, a left-of-center Austin-based non-profit news organization, reported that “The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has quietly made it easier for transgender prisoners to access hormone therapy and other medically necessary health care.”

According to the article titled “Baby Steps on Trans Health Care,” Neil Gaither, president of Trans Pride Initiative, a nonprofit based in Dallas, estimates that there are 1,000 transgender prisoners in state prisons.

The new policy can be found on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s (TDCJ) website.

The new policy says that the definition of “Gender Dysphoria” (GD) is “the clinically significant distress or impairment that is associated with the marked incongruence between one’s experienced or expressed gender and one’s assigned gender for a specified time.” The dysphoria must have lasted at least six months.

In 2012, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders replaced “gender identity disorder” with “gender dysphoria.”

“Transgender” is defined as “a person whose gender identity (i.e. internal sense of feeling male or female) is different from the person’s assigned sex at birth.”

“Intersex” is defined as “a person whose sexual or reproductive anatomy or chromosomal pattern does not seem to fit typical definitions of male or female. Intersex medical conditions are sometimes referred to as sex development disorders.” An inmate who is suspected of, or known to have, this anatomical intersex condition is immediately referred to a facility health department. The inmate can refuse a physical exam.

At intake, an offender with a reported history of Gender Disorder (GD) receives thorough medical and mental health evaluations and is continued on the same documented hormone regimen, if any, upon arrival into the TDCJ. The only exception is if the regimen is found to be “medically contraindicated.” The inmate is routinely monitored and the dose is changed if needed.

Hormone therapy is also “initiated” says the policy when there is a new diagnosis of GD.

All medical care, including hormone treatment, is provided by the University of Texas Medical Branch and Texas Tech Health Science Center.

Mental health care and evaluations are also being provided in order to identify and address GD, and any and all disorders, including psychotic, bipolar, depressive, delusional, or other disorders. Offenders requiring outpatient mental healthcare would be seen either on their assigned unit or transported like any other offender to Hospital Galveston which is operated by the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB).

“As a former member of the Texas Corrections Committee this is the essence of political correctness running wild,” said former Texas state representative Steve Toth in an interview with Breitbart Texas. “This is Texas, not New York or California and for the State of Texas to be paying for a felon to receive hormone treatment for a sex change is commensurate with the lack of spine by our elected leaders.”

Toth, who is running for Congress and hopes to unseat Republican Representative Kevin Brady added, “Thousands of veterans will go hungry and homeless tonight and the State of Texas is paying for a sex change.” He called the situation “unforgivable.” Toth is an ordained minister who has served as a member of the Texas House of Representatives.

Texas State Representative Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball) told Breitbart Texas, “Taxpayers should never be expected to give hormone therapy or anything of that nature to prisoners with confusion regarding their gender identity.” She added, “I suggest the confusion could be ended with a quick look in the mirror after a shower. Then, what they see, is what they are. End of story.”

Riddle, the state representative for House District 150, has been targeted for her bills running contrary to the transgender agenda, as reported by Breitbart Texas. One of her bills would have criminalized entering a shower or toilet facility designated for the opposite sex.

As it relates to hormone treatments in Texas prisons and jails, Riddle also said, “Taxpayers are the folks getting taken to the cleaners and they are sick of the stupid stuff. This gender identity confusion is over the top. One group that is not confused is the hardworking taxpaying citizens that are trying to just pay their bills, rear their families, and put food on the table. The whole thing makes me furious.”

Facility health staff members are required to immediately notify the warden of all offenders reporting or presenting with signs or symptoms of an intersex condition and must enter the diagnosis into the electronic medical records system. This system is updated as more information about the inmate becomes known.

Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as an associate judge and prosecutor. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2


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