A draft executive order from President Biden would reinstitute a federal policy, revoked under the Trump administration, allowing biological male criminals to transfer to women’s prisons if they claim to identify as female.
Biden would direct the U.S. attorney general to “within 30 days of the date of this order, begin the process of identifying any necessary changes to the [Bureau of Prisons] Transgender Offender Manual … to enable BOP to designate individuals to facilities in accordance with their gender identity,” according to a copy of the proposal obtained by The Federalist.
The Justice Department reportedly reviewed its policies on housing transgender inmates in the federal prison system in September after President Trump rescinded Obama-era language that empowered the BOP’s Transgender Executive Council to “recommend housing by gender identity when appropriate.”
Trump had changed the Transgender Offender Manual, the bureau’s rules for transgender prisoners, to require the council to “use biological sex as the initial determination.” His modifications also only permitted the committee to relocate an offender to a facility based on identified gender “in rare cases.”
About 1,200 of the nearly 156,000 federal inmates in the United States identify as transgender, a Justice Department official told NBC News.
While Trump reversed the federal accommodations for transgender inmates, citing concerns for the safety of vulnerable female inmates in the prison system, the policy has either been enshrined in law or practiced unofficially in certain states, such as Washington state and California. The result has been rampant abuse
In the Washington state prison apparatus, biological male transfers have repeatedly sexually exploited their female roommates but the Department of Corrections often turns a blind eye to the incidents, a former guard and former inmate at the Washington Corrections Center for Women alleged to National Review.
Some transgender inmates with questionable gender dysphoria diagnoses and not yet completed transition surgeries have taken advantage of loopholes and manipulated the admission process just so they can be housed with women, the pair claimed. Fearful of discrimination litigation, WCCW accepts many male convicted felons without conducting thorough due diligence as to their violent criminal records and often favors them in Prison Rape Elimination Act proceedings when female inmates accuse them of assault, the two said.