California Prisons Fund Inmate Sex Change Surgery
California prison officials are setting a new standard: Transgender inmates can now receive state funded sex-reassignment surgery.
The policy, which took effect Tuesday, would allow prison mental health professionals to refer inmates for the surgery.
To qualify, inmates must be diagnosed with what is formally known as gender dysphoria, have expressed a desire for the sex change surgery for at least two years; and have lived as a member of the preferred gender for at least 12 months.
The new standard comes after California became the first state to agree to pay for one inmate's surgery but refused to provide the surgery to a second inmate who has since been paroled.
The policy does prohibit procedures considered to be cosmetic, including hair removal, face lifts, breast augmentations, or other implants.
Policy experts claim this will keep the $100,000 surgery cost down for taxpayers.