Federal prisons must now provide “current, accepted standards of care” for transgender inmates. “Care” could mean therapy, hormones and possibly even gender reassignment surgery. The change in policy was outlined in a May memo sent by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to 116 federal facilities.

Previously, transgender inmates could only receive hormone therapy and other treatment if they entered the prison in treatment. In other words, prisons would maintain the status quo.

The reform may be the result of a lawsuit brought on behalf of Vanessa Adams, who entered prison as a man and cut off her penis after prison officials denied her treatment for gender identity disorder.

According to the Associated Press, the feds assign inmates to male and female prisons on the basis of genitalia. If an inmate undergoes gender reassignment surgery (a sex change, in other words) while in custody, the wire service wonders, will he or she have to be transferred?

Sidebar: Why does this news story feel as if it was cooked up in a lab so the Republican presidential candidates have something ridiculous to campaign on other than tax cuts for the wealthy? — PZS

AP via Google:

Transgender inmates who did not begin treatment prior to entering federal custody can now receive hormones, specialized mental health counseling and possibly gender reassignment surgery while they are in prison, according to new rules adopted by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons as part of a court settlement.

A May 31 memo issued to wardens at the nation’s 116 federal prisons and made public by gay rights groups in announcing the settlement Friday states, “current, accepted standards of care” will be applied to inmates who believe they are the wrong gender.

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