Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas has introduced a bill to block male prisoners from being housed in women's prisons. The Preventing Violence Against Female Inmates act would stop biological males who claim to be trans gender from petitioning for a transfer into women's prisons.
"President Biden's plan to house male and female prisoners together will put women in danger," Cotton said. "Documented cases prove that placing men—including ones who 'identify' as female—into women's prisons puts female inmates at increased risk of sexual assault. My bill will stop the president's ill-conceived plan and keep men and women separated in federal prison."
It was in April that the Department of Justice, in support of President Joe Biden's executive orders, issued a "statement of interest" in the case of a biological male inmate in Georgia who petitioned for a move to a women's prison due to suffering abuse in a male prison. Their argument was that housing a biological male in a prison intended for that purpose was a violation of the Eighth Amendment. That amendment states: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."
It is the view of those that oppose these sorts of transfers that a failure to protect those housed in male prisons does not mean that those vulnerable biological males should be housed in women's prisons, where they may themselves become a threat to a vulnerable population.
Multiple female prisoners in Washington state prisons have reported that they were assaulted and raped by male prisoners who were transferred into their prisons after the males said that they identified as women. After one inmate reported that she was assaulted, prison staff at the Washington Corrections Center for Women were allegedly hesitant to take her allegations seriously after the biological male inmate accused the victim of being "homophobic."
Female inmates at a women's prison in California have sued the state for placing biological males in women's prisons after those males self-identify as women and petitioned the state for transfer. Many of the women in this lawsuit were victims of domestic violence prior to their own incarceration. After Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill allowing biological males who claim to be women to be housed in female prison facilities, 291 biological males who self-identify as women have applied for transfers. 41 have been approved, while most transfers are pending.
In California, where the policy of allowing biological males to be housed in female prisons after they claim to be women, at least one female inmate became pregnant. The Women's Liberation Front said that "Conditions are described as 'a nightmare's worst nightmare' by women incarcerated in California after the passage of @Scott_Wiener's SB 132. Now, the system is bracing for a wave of pregnancies and increased violence in the facilities. #StopSB132."
A notorious baby-killer was among those males who have been granted a transfer to a women's prison after claiming to be transgender. That male is now housed in the same prison as the mother of the baby the biological male murdered.
One California inmate, Tomiekia Johnson, 41, told the Los Angeles Times that guards told the women at Central Valley Women's Facility that men would be coming to the Chowchilla prison. Johnson said that "guards have warned them that 'men are coming' and to expect sexual violence."
The state of California began providing condoms to inmates in women's prisons, despite those prisons being intended solely for women.
The cases in California and Washington are only a few of the examples of the problems that arise when biological males who claim to be women are housed among the vulnerable female populations of women's prisons.
There are many supporters of Cotton's bill, including the American Principles Project, Heritage Action, and Concerned Women for America LCA.
Biden, on his first day in office, signed an executive order "on the Establishment of the White House Gender Policy Council." He claimed in that order that it "is intended to advance gender equity and equality, with sensitivity to the experiences of those who suffer discrimination based on multiple factors, including membership in an underserved community." The concept of "gender equity" comprises those who identify as the opposite sex to the one in which they were born.
Under the Trump administration, inmates were to be housed according to their biological sex. Senator Diane Feinstein, in accordance with the laws of her home state of California, asked the Federal Bureau of Prisons to make it easier to house trans-identified inmates in the prison of their choosing. Feinstein wrote that the policy, under Trump, used the "undefined term 'biological sex'" as the "initial consideration when making housing and programming assignments." The letter claimed that this was "an imprecise term that is often used to redefine 'sex' to exclude transgender people from legal protections and considerations."
The way the Biden administration has interpreted the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is that "gender identity" is also a protected class. In the order, it was required that every federal agency, which includes that which oversees prisons, get right with the order and carry out its dictates.