Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said yesterday the state should expect to expect to see trans people breaking down doors to get into jail now that the prison system has fully recognized transsexualism as a treatable medical condition.
Perkins said even though the state is broke they are now “rewarding people who don’t just break the state’s laws, but nature’s, too.” Perkins said. “transgender people are incarcerated at six percent of the rate of the general population and I can assure you that it’s about to be more…once they know that they can get free surgery.”
The New York Times Reports that under the new policy, the state will cover mastectomies as well as operations to remove and reconstruct reproductive organs. But it will not cover services the state considers cosmetic, including breast implants or procedures or drugs for hair removal or hair growth.
A review committee of doctors and psychologists will decide whether to allow surgery, based on a prisoner’s physical and mental condition. And a request will be granted only if an inmate has more than two years left to serve before parole is expected; “has continuously manifested a desire to live and be accepted” with a particular sexual identity, including a desire for surgery, for two years; and has lived as a member of that sex, with hormone therapy, for a year.
“They’re pretty conservative criteria — the inmate doesn’t just request surgery and then get it,” said Joyce Hayhoe, legislative and communications director for the independent agency that oversees prison medical care.