The sponsors of Sen. Scott Wiener’s (D-San Francisco) SB 132 — a coalition of civil rights and legal organizations including Transgender Law Center, TransLatin@ Coalition, ACLU of California, Equality California, Lambda Legal, and Medina Orthwein LLP — released the following joint statement on Friday announcing that SB 132 — the Transgender Respect, Agency, and Dignity Act — will become a two-year bill as the coalition continues to conduct outreach to gain additional input from incarcerated transgender people and consider potential amendments:
“Every person deserves basic human dignity, agency, and respect. That continues to be the guiding principle behind our work on SB 132 to protect transgender people incarcerated in California prisons. As discussions with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) continue, additional time is necessary to make sure we put the strongest possible legislation on the governor’s desk. This includes continuing to center the input and experiences of those who are most impacted by these policies. The coalition and Senator Wiener are united in our determination to advance a bill that includes strong nondiscrimination provisions, creates a clear pathway for transgender people to be housed appropriately, and prioritizes incarcerated transgender people’s own perception of their safety and wellbeing.
“As long as transgender people are denied dignity, agency, and respect while housed by CDCR, we will continue to seek solutions and demand justice. When the Legislature passes SB 132 next year, we are confident that it will increase safety and respect for incarcerated transgender Californians and serve as a model for the rest of the nation.”
Senator Wiener released the following statement:
“Transgender people in our prison system are among the most marginalized people in society, and we must protect them. This is an important issue, and it takes time to get it right. While we’ve made significant progress moving the ball forward this year, we need more time to come to a solution that works for the community, for CDCR, and for the Governor. I’m highly confident that SB 132 will pass next year, and California, once again, will be in the forefront of LGBT civil rights. Over the fall recess, I will join community leaders to visit several state prisons to meet with transgender people who are incarcerated there. This listening tour will help us craft the best legislation possible. I look forward to bringing this bill back up in January.”
ABOUT THE BILL:SB 132 would require that incarcerated transgender people in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) be classified and housed based on their sense of health, safety, and gender identity — as opposed to defaulting to anatomy or dictating placement based on sex assigned at birth. The bill would require CDCR to house incarcerated transgender people according to their gender identity or where they feel safest and:
- Require that during the initial intake process, CDCR record the individual’s self-reported gender identity, pronouns, and honorific;
- Require CDCR to house transgender people according to the person’s preference, including which facility the person states they feel safest in, which may or may not correspond with their gender identity; and
- Require all staff and contractors of CDCR to consistently use the gender pronoun and honorific the person has specified in all verbal and written communications with and regarding that person.
STATUS:SB 132 passed the Senate floor and the Assembly Public Safety Committee and Assembly Appropriations Committee. The bill will be eligible for a vote by the full Assembly in 2020.