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Program Statement Gender Classification and Housing Dc Doc 2009

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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Program
Statement

1.

OPI:
Number:
Date:
Subject:

DIR
4020.3
February 20, 2009
Gender Classification
and Housing

PURPOSE AND SCOPE
To establish procedures on providing the appropriate treatment of transgender,
transsexual, inter-sex, and gender variant persons who are incarcerated and
housed within the DC DOC.

2.

POLICY
a.

It is DOC policy to provide services in a humane and respectful manner to
transgender and intersex detainees while ensuring that they are processed
and housed safely and efficiently to the greatest extent possible. For the
safety, security and order of the facility, the DOC classifies and houses male
and female offenders in separate housing units. DOC shall classify an
inmate who has male genitals as a male and one who has female genitals
as a female, unless otherwise classified by the Transgender Committee
consistent with this policy.

b.

In order to address the special needs of transgender individuals, upon initial
intake at Receiving and Discharge (R&D), or at any time that an inmate
makes known to DOC staff their transgender or intersex status, staff shall
follow the guidelines in this policy in order to determine the inmate’s housing
based on his or her safety/security needs, housing availability, gender
identity and genitalia, if
1. An inmate indicates that they are transgendered or intersex at anytime
during their custody.
2. An inmate’s gender identity, appearance, overt expression, or behavior
differs from their birth sex and/or genitalia.
3. A gender designation made by any public entity, government agency or
law enforcement agency indicates they are transgendered.

3.

NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION
In accordance with the D.C. Human Rights Act of 1977, as amended, D.C.
Official Code §2.1401.01 et seq. (Act), the District of Columbia does not

discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital
status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression,
familial status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic
information, disability, source of income, or place of residence or business.
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that is also prohibited by the
Act. Discrimination in violation of the Act will not be tolerated. Violators will be
subject to disciplinary action.
4.

DIRECTIVES AFFECTED
a.

5.

Rescinded

OM 07-004 Gender Classification and Housing (10/30/07)

AUTHORITY
a. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825 (1994).
b. Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472 (1995).

6.

STANDARDS REFERENCED
American Correctional Standard (ACA) 4th Edition, Standards for Administration
of Correctional Agencies, 4th Edition 4-ALDF-2A-66

7.

DEFINITIONS
a.

Gender Expression. A gender-related expression, appearance, identity, or
behavior of an individual, regardless of the individual’s gender at birth.

b.

Inter-sex. A set of medical conditions that features a congenital anomaly of
the reproductive and sexual system. A person with an intersex condition is
born with sex chromosomes, external genitalia, or an internal reproductive
system that is not considered “standard” for either male or female.

c.

Sexual Orientation. Includes male or female homosexuality,
heterosexuality, and bisexuality, by preference or practice.

d.

Transgender. Refers to any person whose identity or behavior differs from
traditional gender expression. This term includes transsexual individuals,
cross-dressers, androgynous individuals, and others whose appearance or
characteristics are perceived to be gender-atypical. An umbrella term
describing individuals who live and/or express themselves as a gender other
than that assigned to them at birth.

e.

Transgender Committee. Refers to a committee established by the D.C.
Department of Corrections comprised of a medical practitioner, a mental
health clinician, a correctional supervisor, a Chief Case Manager and a DOC
approved volunteer who is a member of the transgender community or an
acknowledged expert in transgender affairs. The committee shall determine
the transgender inmate’s housing assignment after review of all of the
inmate records and assessments, and an interview with the inmate during

which the inmate’s own opinion of his/her vulnerability in the jail population
shall be considered.

8.

f.

Transsexual. A person whose personal sense of his or her gender conflicts
with their anatomical sex. Some, but not all, transsexuals undergo medical
treatments to change their physical sex so that it is in harmony with their
gender expression.

g.

Gender Variant. Refers to any person whose expression of gender,
(masculinity and femininity) does not conform to the dominant gender norms
of Western culture.

PROCEDURES
Under all circumstances, staff shall only ask questions related to sexual identity,
gender identity or gender expression for the purpose of making intake and
housing assignments, classification, programming, providing health care and
health assessments, or where information is necessary to ensure the safety,
security and order of inmates, staff, visitors, the facility, and the community.
Questions related to sexual identity, gender identity, or gender expression shall
be asked in a respectful manner to preserve confidentiality as well as human
dignity and avoid subjecting the inmate to abuse, humiliation or ridicule.

9.

INITIAL INTAKE
Upon initial intake in Receiving and Discharge (R&D), if an inmate’s genderrelated expression, identity, appearance, or behavior differs from their sex, staff
shall, when practical, place transgendered or intersex inmates in a holding cell by
him/herself during intake.
Staff shall:
a.

Review commitment documents for gender assignment or any notification
that identifies the inmate as transgender or “vulnerable.”

b.

If after reviewing commitment documents and other notifications the staff still
cannot determine the biological sex, the staff shall ask the inmate for
verification of the sex of the genitalia. Staff must conduct this inquiry
privately and in a professional manner to preserve confidentiality in order to
avoid subjecting the inmate to abuse or ridicule.

c.

If the inmate’s physical sex cannot be determined, and/or the inmate refuses
to cooperate, staff shall notify a supervisor immediately. The supervisor
shall have the inmate escorted to the medical unit for a physical examination
and gender determination. Any inmate refusing to receive a complete
physical examination will be placed in protective custody.

d.

Upon determination of gender by inmate verification (a and b, above) or
medical exam (c, above), the inmate shall be treated as a protective custody
inmate for the duration of the Intake process in order to ensure that the staff

shall escort the inmate to the appropriate R&D unit to complete the intake
process in a manner consistent with that custody’s requirements, including
private strip search procedures.
e.

R&D staff shall accurately record the inmate as transgendered or intersex
and the inmate’s gender identity and apparent biological gender in JACCS
and document the incident consistent with PS 1280.2 Reporting and
Notification Procedures for Significant Incidents and Extraordinary
Occurrences

f.

All intake documentation shall include the inmate’s birth and/or legal name
or the name the inmate has been booked under by the arresting agency.

g.

Inmates shall be called by their last names without reference to gender
specific identifiers such as Mr., Mrs. or Miss, Ma’am or Sir or other gender
specific terms used in addressing a person. Instead, the gender neutral
term, “Inmate” is to be used with the last name.

10. HOUSING
a.

After completion of the initial intake process, an inmate identified as
transgender or intersex shall be housed as a protective custody inmate in a
single cell in the intake housing unit consistent with the gender identified at
intake for no more than seventy-two (72) hours, excluding weekends,
holidays and emergencies, until classification and housing needs can be
assessed by the Transgender Committee.
In accordance with PS 4090.3C Classification and Reclassification, all
transgender and intersex inmates will be classified and assigned housing
based on their safety/security needs, housing availability, gender identity
and genitalia. Intake staff shall assess the transgender and intersex inmates
for potential vulnerability in the general population and refer them to the
Transgender Committee.

b.

As part of the housing assessment for vulnerability, the Transgender
Committee shall determine the transgender inmate’s housing assignment
after review of all of the inmate’s records and assessments and an interview
with the inmate. The Committee shall ask the inmate his or her own opinion
of his or her vulnerability in the general jail population of the male or female
units. This information shall be taken into consideration in determining the
proper housing assignment. The Committee will attempt to reach
consensus, ultimately relying on majority vote when needed. A written
decision by the Transgender Committee shall be maintained in the inmate’s
medical record.

c.

The Housing assessment shall determine if the inmate will be housed in the
general population or in a protective custody unit of the gender consistent
with their gender identity or genitalia. If the housing assignment differs from
the Transgender Committee’s written recommendation, the Warden shall
justify the assignment in writing to the Director. Transgender and intersex

inmates have the same right to appeal housing assignments as all inmates
consistent with PS 4090.3C Classification.
d.

If it is determined that the inmate can be housed in the general population,
the inmate shall be transferred to the general population as determined by
the Transgender Committee after the seventy-two (72) hour assessment
period has lapsed. If it is determined that the inmate requires protective
custody, he or she shall be placed in this unit and his or her custody shall be
reviewed by the Housing Committee consistent with standard DOC policy.
Consistent with standard DOC policy, transgender and intersex inmates may
be placed in communal protective custody pursuant to the determination of
the Transgender Committee and subsequent reviews of inmate status.

e.

A transgender or intersex inmate will be housed in protective custody when
there is reason to believe the inmate presents a heightened risk to
him/herself or to others or where the inmate fears he or she will be
vulnerable to victimization in any other housing setting. This assignment
shall be only for the period during which the heightened risk and/or fear
exists. Inmates in administrative segregation and protective custody shall
have access to programs and services consistent with that status.

f.

When clinically indicated and determined by appropriate medical staff,
transgender inmates who were receiving hormone treatment and therapy at
the time of their incarceration shall continue to do so if the inmate desires.
Inmates who were not receiving hormone treatment and therapy prior to
incarceration but subsequently wish to do so shall be permitted this
medication with medical authorization.

g.

Transgender, and intersex inmates will be provided standard jail attire
consistent with the gender of their housing assignment. Inmates under
hormone therapy with secondary sexual characteristics such as breasts
shall be provided appropriate undergarments such as a bra when clinically
indicated by appropriate medical staff.

h.

While incarcerated in the D.C. Department of Corrections, transgender,
transsexual and intersex inmates shall not be discriminated against in their
participation in services, programs, or benefits and shall not be subjected to
verbal or physical harassment or a hostile environment by the staff or
inmates. Individuals who are found to engage in such abuse shall be subject
to appropriate disciplinary action.

i. All searches of transgender or intersex inmates shall be conducted in a
manner consistent with DOC policy outside of the presence of inmates or
non-critical staff to the degree practicable.

 

 

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