Taxpayers Pay Millions On Inmate Sex Changes In California

Since 2017, the state of California has spent over $4 million of taxpayer money on sex changes and “gender-affirming” enhancements on 157 inmates, four of which are on death row.

The amount of inmates who identify as transgendered has increased significantly in the last few years. In 2014, 131 inmates reported being transgendered in the state. On October 18, 2023, a whopping 1,847 inmates self-identified as transgendered.

According to a February 2021 legislative report, the dramatic increase of transgendered inmates is the result of the correctional agency’s efforts to transfer inmates to the prison that matches their chosen “gender identity.”

Two male prisoners received facial feminization surgeries totaling up to $184,141, while 11 male inmates received breast implants, costing more than $180,000. 

The state’s correctional administration reported that there are no set restrictions on the type of surgeries or treatments that inmates can request.

California passed a law that allowed the use of taxpayer money to fund sex change operations for inmates following a legal settlement in 2016. Shiloh Quine, a male inmate, sued the state for “the right” to be “recognized as a transgendered woman and to receive certain treatments and procedures in order to identify as female.” 

National Committee Chairwoman Harmeet Dhillon reported that while transgendered individuals have a right to be treated with respect and dignity, “it does not include taxpayer dollars being used to do surgeries that are experimental at best and scientifically unjustified at worst.”

While there are no limitations regarding sex change operations, there are strict guidelines for inmates needing dental work. These guidelines prohibit cosmetic tooth restoration or replacement, root canals on back teeth, or treatment of ulcers, along with other services. 

This year, correction agency officials are asking for more than $2 million for the 2023-2024 fiscal year for the “Integrated Gender Affirming Healthcare Program,” which includes the salaries for two more full-time senior psychiatrists, a physician, part-time surgeon, and two social workers.  

By the middle of 2023, the state received over 1,000 requests for”gender-affirming” surgeries, with more to follow.

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