Effective June 30, 2023, staff will be required to search individuals in accordance with their gender identity.
According to an email from the Teamsters Local 117 DOC to members, obtained by The Post Millennial, “…male staff will be required to search all incarcerated individuals who identify as male. Similarly, female staff will be required to search all incarcerated individuals who identify as female.”
In response, the union filed a demand to bargain and is currently negotiating with the department.
The union also asked members to complete a confidential survey “…so we can better understand where the membership stands on this issue and can bring your voice to negotiations.” According to the union, “…answers to the survey are confidential and will not be shared with your employer.”
The survey asks for the members’ “gender identity” and lists options as “male,” “female,” “transgender,” “non-binary/non-conforming,” and “prefer not to respond.”
The survey then asked if members support the policy and if they will carry out the new policy, comply but object to the policy, or refuse to carry it out.
The news comes on the heels of an expose by the O’Keefe Media group that revealed footage from inside Washington State’s Correctional Center for Women of a distressed female inmate describing the facility’s transgender-friendly policy.
According to the outlet, as a result of the policy, “violent male offenders are put in positions where they can take advantage of female inmates including in the same cell.”
The Post Millennial obtained a copy of the department’s procedures “to ensure equitable treatment of transgender intersex and/or nonbinary individuals when determining housing classification programming and supervision."
According to their policy, all employees, contract staff, and volunteers will address such individuals by their preferred pronoun or their last name.
Additionally, the individual will be asked their pronoun preference which will be documented and used in all written communications and a court order name or gender change is not required.
The policy also stated that incarcerated transgender, intersex, and, or non-binary individuals will receive medical mental health care “…per the Washington DOC health plan gender dysphoria protocol and GD-CRC and evaluation and management of hormonal treatment of gender dysphoria transgender identification protocol.”
In a follow-up report, OMG published a video of a Department of Justice official, Dr. Linda Noelle who works as a psychologist in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, remarking how Attorney General Merrick Garland “rolls over” in the face of lawsuits from inmates over gender policies, most notably, trans-men impregnating women in prison and pays out a settlement.
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