Transgender women — who were born male but identify as female — will have the voluntary opportunity to move into a transgender housing unit at Rikers Island that is separate and safe from the rest of the Male prison population, as Transgender women are likely to be preyed upon by other Males.
“Because inmates are not all alike, the department is creating specialized housing for many specific inmate groups,” DOC Commissioner Joe Ponte said. “Just as adolescents, young adults, and mentally ill inmates have specialized needs, so do men who identify as women.”
Transgender inmates will also be provided with medical and mental-health care as needed. The voluntary unit will start out with 30 beds — enough to house the roughly 30 to 35 transgender women behind bars at any given time.
This is a significant improvement for incarcerated Transgender Women. Predictably, middle class White Transgender women object to this plan because apparently Rikers prison staff are unwilling to indulge the fantasy that these “Women” were born Female.