ACLU of Nevada Questions Policies on Transgender Inmates

Affiliate: ACLU of Nevada
September 1, 2017 9:30 am

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ACLU of Nevada
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LAS VEGAS—The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada has grave concerns about the Department of Corrections’ new regulations regarding inmates who are transgender.

The policies were approved Wednesday by the State Board of Prison Commissioners. The Department of Corrections failed to implement many of our recommendations, raising serious concerns about the constitutionality of some provisions as well as their compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act.

“While the ACLU of Nevada appreciates the Department of Corrections for hearing our concerns, its failure to act on them poses a serious problem. We are looking at all available options in order to ensure that the state’s handling of prisoners who are transgender is compliant with PREA and does not violate the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution,” ACLU of Nevada Executive Director Tod Story said.

The Department of Corrections failed to adopt the up-to-date terminology recommended by the ACLU of Nevada in May, including continued use of the term gender identity disorder (a term no longer recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

The Department of Corrections’ regulations about so-called skin searches of inmates and showering also raise concerns about the DOC’s compliance with PREA.

Policies that allow transgender inmates to receive hormone replacement therapies only if they had been prescribed them before their incarceration conflict with prevailing standards of care for Gender Dysphoria as well as the Eighth Amendment, which bars prisons from denying access to certain types of treatments based on a blanket policy that does not allow for medical judgment based on an individual’s particular circumstances.

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