255 transgender inmates have requested a transfer to a women’s prison after California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill 132, The Transgender Respect, Agency and Dignity Act.
The bill allows “transgender, non-binary and intersex people” that are in prison their choice of male or female prison, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
CDCR Secretary Ralph Diaz said after the bill passed “no one deserves to be treated disrespectfully because of their gender identity or expression. And it is our sworn duty to protect people from sexual assault and violence.”
Kelly Blackwell, 53 told the Los Angeles Times “I won’t be around predatory men and I won’t be around staff that frown upon trans women.”
However, the Los Angeles Times also reported “at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla, there’s fear.”
Per the report ‘inmates say guards have warned them that “men are coming” and to expect sexual violence.’
Tomiekia Johnson, 41, said staffers have told her “that if we think it’s bad now, be prepared for the worst. That it’s going to be off the hook, it’s going to be jumping.”
“They say we’re going to need a facility that’s going to be like a maternity ward. They say we’re going to have an inmate program where inmates become nannies,” she added.