A Win for Transgender Prisoners.

Shiloh Quine. CREDIT: Kristin Schreier Lyseggen

Shiloh Quine. CREDIT: Kristin Schreier Lyseggen.

A federal judge in California ruled on Thursday that state prisons must allow transgender inmates greater access to commissary items that are consistent with their gender identity. The ruling stems from a settlement reached in August 2015 that mandates the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations (CDCR) to pay for a transgender inmate’s sex reassignment surgery.


The case was first brought forward by 56-year-old Shiloh Quine, a transgender woman currently being held at Mule Creek State Prison, a men’s prison southeast of Sacramento. Represented by the Transgender Law Center in Oakland, CA, her case was first brought forward after she was denied sex reassignment surgery in addition to clothing and other items that were only available to inmates in women’s prisons due to California state prison policy.


Ilona Turner, legal director at the Transgender Law Center, said in a statement that transgender women should not be denied items that other women in CDCR facilities can access. “We are pleased that the court recognizes the importance of having access to clothing and personal items that reflect a person’s gender, and that denying items because someone is transgender is discrimination,” she said.

Kent Scheidegger said the ruling was ridiculous. He serves as the legal director at the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, a nonprofit law organization that advocates for the “swift and certain punishment” of criminals on behalf of their victims rights of crime victims, in addition to promoting use of the death penalty.

Well, nice to know uStates will never be short of people happy to swing a bloodthirsty cudgel whenever the opportunity arises. Jesus Fucking Wept.

ThinkProgress has the full story.


  1. says

    The US prison system (and, because it’s the parent) the justice system -- what a joke. They’ve never been able to decide whether prison is rehabilitative (hint: it’s not) or punitive (hint: it is) — they try to pretend the one while doing the other, which is extra fucked up because neither works. Not the way it’s practiced in the US. The whole US prison system needs to be plowed under.

  2. says

    The uStates penal system, like every other system here, is antiquated, irrelevant to 21st century reality, and past broken. There are people who really try to make rehabilitation work, like the groups who have prisoners train dogs for service work, or train “unadoptable” dogs, saving them from death. That’s a program that has been proven to work, but does it get funding? No. Is it adopted across states? No. It’s also a limited program, so yes, it helps a small amount of prisoners, but there’s a whole lot left outside such programs.

    There are people in prison who should not be. For fuck’s sake, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkle should have been paroled decades ago, but no, because along the way, they turned into political prisoners. People in this country serve close to life sentences for drugs, while rapists serve next to no time, and are often paroled the first time out, early. A lot of people convicted of murder do much less time than those convicted for drugs. And on and on and on.

    Prison violence remains high, and vicious. Half the so-called guards are complicit in said violence, or look the other way. There’s little humane treatment, conditions are terrible, and basically, it takes an exceptional person to be in that environment and still work their ass off to rehabilitate themselves. The case of Wilbert Rideau highlights that particular problem. And on and on and on.

  3. Siobhan says

    All her gendered articles are going to do is attract the attention of the men she’s imprisoned with. They’re a small consolation as long as she’s still in men’s prison. :/

  4. says

    Siobhan @ 3:

    She won much more than that -- she won the right to have the prison system assent to her surgery, and pay for it, she’ll be transferred to a womens’ prison soon. As for the right to various articles, as that’s important to those prisoners, I’m not going to say it’s a bad thing. The article is quite long and covers more ground than I did.

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