California’s ‘Woke’ Transgender Policy for Inmates Sparks Backlash

Source: CalMatters / Freepik

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has seen an increasing number of biological men (who now identify as transgender) transfer to one of two all-female prisons in the state – and it’s all because of a law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2021. Here’s what California residents need to know!

What Is SB 132? 

Senate Bill 132, also known as The Transgender Respect, Agency and Dignity Act, is a law that requires the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to house incarcerated individuals based on the gender they identify as – as opposed to the gender they were born as. 

Source: Wikimedia/Office of the Governor of California

The law was signed by Gov. Newsom in 2021, and has been in effect ever since. The primary goal of the bill was to ensure inmates were housed ‘in institutions that decrease their likelihood of experiencing targeting and violence.’ Unfortunately, it’s only making things worse. 

Amie Ichikawa Shares Firsthand Experience

Amie Ichikawa, a former inmate at the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) and current women’s rights advocate, has been one of the harshest and loudest critics of SB 132 – and she has seen its implications firsthand. 

Source: Wikimedia/California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

She wrote about her concerns in a March 16 op-ed in the New York Post and spoke out against the law more recently during an interview with Fox News Digital. She believes the law is being exploited by dangerous men with ill intentions. 

Transfers Include Sex Offenders and Murderers

It’s unclear how many biological men are serving time alongside biological women, but Ichikawa is suggesting that it could be in the dozens. “It’s hard to be sure because California refuses to publish this data and gives men the option of acquiring a new state ID number,” she wrote. 

Source: Juan Moyano via Canva

According to documents obtained and reviewed by Fox News Digital, the first group of trans women to be transferred into an all-female prison under the 2021 law included murderers, kidnappers, rapists, and sexual abusers. 

Ichikawa Wants To Give Incarcerated Females A Voice

Ichikawa, who served time alongside some of those transgender inmates, has since created a non-profit – Woman II Woman – that maintains direct communication with incarcerated females who feel they are ‘sitting ducks for rape and sexual assault.’ 

Source: Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels via Canva

She also took part in the filming of Cruel and Unusual Punishment: The Male Takeover of Female Prisons, a documentary – created by the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) – that ‘exposes the fallout of policies that open women’s prisons to male offenders,’ according to Fox News.

Transgender Care Is Common In CA Prisons

In her interview, Ichikawa pointed out how common male-to-female-related transgender care is in the prison system today. For example, California spent more than $3 million on such care between fiscal year 2016 and July 14, 2023. 

Source: pixelshot via Canva

That number included $180,354.05 for 11 breast implant surgeries, $184,140.78 for two facial feminization surgeries, $223,568.24 for 69 inmates to undergo laser hair removal, and another $2,452,043.60 for 35 patients to have vaginoplasties.

Passing Out Condoms In Female-Only Prisons

According to Ichikawa, the CCWF recently mounted a series of contraceptive dispensers full of colorful, flavored condoms in every dayroom last month. While this is common in male prison quarters, it’s a relatively new concept in female prisons. 

Source: Nikolay Zaiarnyi from Getty Images via Canva

And the recent influx of transgender women is the primary reason why. Since all prisons are required to furnish condoms under California Penal Code 6500 – as per the AB 999 bill, which was passed in 2013. 

Sexual Activity Is Still Prohibited In CA Prisons

During her time in prison, Ichikawa says inmates were encouraged that ‘no means no’ and ‘yes isn’t allowed’ – mainly because sex with inmates or guards is strictly prohibited in all prisons. Since consent isn’t allowed, all forms of sexual activity are considered rape in prison. 

Source: RDNE Stock project from Pexels via Canva

According to Fox News Digital, the CDCR is ‘committed to providing a safe, humane, respectful and rehabilitative environment for all incarcerated people, including the transgender, non-binary and intersex community.’ They will continue to implement what’s outlined in SB 132. 

Andrea Mew Demands Something Be Done Immediately

Andrea Mew, a manager at IWF who co-produced the Cruel and Unusual Punishment series, is one of the many people calling for immediate change. She warned that the 2021 law contributes to the erasure of womanhood and complicates something as straightforward as gender. 

Source: AndreyPopov from Getty Images via Canva

“What happens in California often becomes the model for the rest of the nation, so spreading awareness about these things before they become commonplace in every other state is crucial,” she said – adding that gender definitions should be clearly defined. 

Women Are Left With Very Little Help

Ichikiwa describes it as a human rights issue that’s taking away a female’s right to speak up for herself. “These women are really voiceless, they don’t have the ability to speak out, they’re not safe to speak out,” she told Fox News. 

Source: South_agency from Getty Images Signature via Canva

She also detailed concerns about the lack of help women receive in the prison system – where complaints are often ignored and lawyers are reluctant to represent them. Ichikawa believes it’s only a matter of time before what’s happening in prisons starts happening in society as well.

Prison Trauma Is Common For Females

Female prisons are already riddled with violence. In fact, roughly 92% of female inmates in California have been beaten or battered in the past. A big reason why is that female inmates aren’t separated by security level or the nature of their convictions. 

Source: RDNE Stock project from Pexels via Canva

The recent influx of biological males in female prisons is only making things worse. A 2022 report found that 33.8% of transgender transfers are registered sex offenders, and nearly 1 in 4 were convicted of a sexual offense. 

Concerned About The Future Implications

Both Mew and Ichikiwa are worried about what the recent data means for future female inmates who are forced to serve time with biological men. They’re concerned that recidivism rates could decline if women are repeatedly raped without anyone being held accountable. 

Source: South_agency from Getty Images Signature via Canva

“How is that going to usher them back into the free world comfortably and ready to be productive members of society?” Mew asked, while Ichikawa noted how the entire population is impacted anytime somebody is attacked in prison. 

A Woman’s Right To Rehabilitate Is Being Taken Away

Ichikawa went on to discuss how difficult it’ll be for women to begin the healing process ‘when you are in a permanent state of hypervigilance’ and your one right in prison – the right to rehabilitate – is being taken from you. 

Source: doomu from Getty Images via Canva

“Imagine trying to talk about your traumas or your sexual assaults or the abuse that you’ve endured and there’s a rapist in the group, this is going to be really difficult,” she added.

What do you think?

199 Points
Upvote Downvote
Ryan Handson

Written by Ryan Handson

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

House Democrats Hint at Support for Speaker Mike Johnson Amid Ouster Threat

High School Students Revolt Against Transgender Bathroom Policy