California will soon provide taxpayer-funded genital altering “sex change” surgery for prison inmates, with a new policy coming out this week that includes standards to approve the estimated $100,000 procedure.
An official, prison mental health professional-determined “gender dysphoria” diagnosis must be given in order for an inmate to move forward in pursuit of genital altering surgery. Additionally, the surgery candidate must have completed at least 12 months living as the chosen gender and articulated a desire to have the surgery for twice that long, according to the Associated Press.
“The policy prohibits procedures that are considered merely cosmetic, including hair removal, facelifts, breast augmentations or other implants,” the AP reported.
Flor Bermudez, a lawyer for two inmates seeking the surgery, was quoted calling the new policy a “great victory for transgender people.”
California inmate Jeffrey Bryan Norsworthy began taking hormones and dressing as a woman in 1999, 12 years into his prison sentence.
Norsworthy was convicted of murder in 1987. He now goes by the name Michelle-Lael Norsworthy. He was initially considered for the surgery, but was later denied given his impending release from prison. He has since been released.
The AP reports that 375 male and 26 female California inmates are currently receiving hormone therapy. In the case of a murder convict serving a life sentence that goes by the name Shiloh Heavenly Quine, the corrections department announced the state will pay for the surgery.
An inmate known as Mia Rosati, another murder convict serving a life sentence, is also on track for the surgery. The liberal Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that in denying Rosati’s surgery, the state may “be violating her rights,” according to the AP.
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