Friday, April 29, 2011
Cook County Jail to Separate Inmates By Gender Identity [Chicagoist]
Last month, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart implemented a comprehensive policy to separate inmates at Cook County Jail by gender identity, rather than birth sex. It's believed the policy is the first of its kind in the country.
Prior to this policy, transgendered inmates at 26th and California were at risk for physical assault and harrassment because of the their gender identity. Dart's office worked with LGBT advocates, the Department of Corrections and Cermak Health Services to draft the policy, in which transgendered inmates are referred to a "Gender Identity Panel" of therapists and physicians before being placed into male or female wings of the jail. The policy also allows for transgendered inmates to carry toiletries and wear clothes consistent with their gender identity.