New York City’s jail system recently announced a new policy that will require jail officials to make special accommodations for transgender inmates.
According to the New York Law Journal, the new policy was announced Monday by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s commissioner on human rights, Carmelyn Malalis.
The policy — set to take effect within the next six months — will allow transgender inmates to be housed with other inmates of the gender they choose to identify with, meaning men who identify as women could be housed in the women’s jail and women who identify as men could live with male inmates.
“Respecting someone’s gender identity or gender expression is key in making sure that everyone in New York City is living with dignity and respect,” Malalis said. “The fact that somebody’s incarcerated or not doesn’t really change that.”
The new policy stems from a 2016 order issued by de Blasio which directed all city-owned buildings, including schools and recreation centers, to allow individuals to use the single-sex bathrooms or locker rooms of the gender they choose.
The NYC Department of Correction received an initial exemption from that order for obvious reasons, including inmate safety concerns.
But apparently those concerns have been alleviated — or simply swept under the rug — as the new policy will compel jails to house inmates with other inmates of the gender they identify with unless a federally required safety assessment or the inmate’s own preferences dictate otherwise.
“It’s the city’s responsibility to protect the rights and safety of all New Yorkers, and that means protecting transgender individuals in city jails as well,” de Blasio said in a statement, according to the New York Daily News.
Moreover, a special transgender housing unit that had been slated for closure will remain open, providing an option for transgender inmates who don’t feel comfortable or safe in the general population of either the male or female jails.
That housing unit has been wracked by recent controversy regarding the inconsistent system which managed applications and placements in the special unit.
Eighty-four percent of applications to the unit were determined to have never been reviewed or processed, and 73 percent of the unit’s inmates had no official application associated with them.
But according to City Hall, a Board of Corrections report exposing this controversy played no role in the decision to implement the new gender identity policy.
Martha King, executive director of the Corrections Board, said the new policy would “help bring DOC into compliance with the Board’s Minimum Standards on the prevention of sexual abuse.”
“The Board’s recent report on the DOC Transgender Housing Unit shows the urgent need for additional safe housing options for transgender people in custody and makes recommendations for improved conditions and operations in the unit,” she said.
While all that may sound well and good, what will they say when a female who identifies as a male is summarily raped or otherwise sexually assaulted after being placed in the men’s jail?
Likewise, what will be the liberal media’s reaction once a conniving male rapist inevitably claims to identify as a female and is then placed in the women’s jail? This “solution” offered up by New York City to the “problem” of where to house inmates confused over their gender identity appears to be a big can of worms that is best left unopened.
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