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Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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MAY 14, 2018

     Male cannot stay with a female. The Trump administration has rolled back protections for transgender prison inmates introduced under former President Barack Obama after some prisoners challenged the policies in court. An inmate’s “biological sex” will now be used to make the initial decision as to where transgender prisoners are housed, instead of the gender to which they identify, according to a change in guidelines announced on Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

     The move, decried by transgender rights advocates, comes after four women held at a Texas detention center filed a federal lawsuit. The inmates argued that the previous prison guidelines, introduced in January 2017 just days before Obama left office, put them at greater risk of rape because they might have to share facilities with transgender women. Under President Donald Trump, the Justice Department said in August that it would evaluate the issues in the lawsuit.

     Following Friday’s change to the guidelines, prison authorities are instructed to consider the health and safety of transgender inmates, as well as “whether placement would threaten the management and security of the institution and/or pose a risk to other inmates in the institution.” Bureau of Prisons officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Saturday. The move was condemned by transgender activists, who point to official statistics that show transgender inmates are at disproportionate risk of suffering sexual violence.

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