State announces special treatment for transgender inmates

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The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) announced Thursday that transgender inmates will now be allowed to receive hormone therapy treatments, after a transgender inmate at the Macomb County Correctional Facility pushed for the changes.

The new policy was slipped into place, effective June 26, and is taxpayer funded, MDOC spokesperson Chris Gautz admitted.

“That will come out of our general fund budget, so that is taxpayer funded. Previous to that, if someone had the hormone therapy going on, families who have the financial means to provide that for their loved one that’s in prison would have the ability to provide that payment, as well,” Gautz stated.

Now, transgender inmates suffering from “gender dysphoria” will be able to receive hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery while they are in prison.

“Every prisoner is important; this is something that we wanted to do, that we needed to do,” Gautz claimed.

Requests for treatment will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and if an inmate believes they need treatment, a new Gender Dysphoria Collaborative Review Committee will give the inmate a medical and psychological evaluation, as well as put together a treatment plan.

Special accommodations could be provided, such as a private cell, “relatively private” access to toilets and showers, “gender-conforming” clothing and other items.

Additionally, inmates may be allowed hormone treatments or surgical procedures. Hormone treatments are estimated to cost between $50 to $70 monthly per individual.

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