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King County

Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention
Adult Divisions
General Policy Manual
Chapter 6
Inmate Classification and Discipline


6.03.007 Transgender Inmates



Approved Bv:
Effective Date: I
This policy supersedes all prior policies and
memoranda relatinq to this subiect.

POLICY DRAFT updated 08/01106SR

To establish protocols on providing the appropriate treatment of transgender, transsexual,
intersex, and gender variant persons who are incarcerated and housed within King County's
Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention.

Having guidelines for proper treatment of transgender, transsexual, intersex, and
gender variant inmates by all jail staff (custodial, administrative, healthcare, and all
other support and program access staff) and volunteers ensures not only that the
inmate is treated with dignity, but that staff have the information and support they need
to be more effective.

DAJD Policies:


5.01.001 Admission Procedures
4.02.005 Strip Searches
1.03.020 Anti~Harassment
6.04.002 Grievance Procedures
6.03.001 Administrative Segregation
6.01.005 Classification and Assessment
6.03.003 Critical Inmate Placement
J~G~Ol Special Needs Treatment Plans


Staff: For the purposes of this policy, "staff" shall mean all full and part-time
employees, volunteers, contractors, vendors and those with facility access.

Gender: The psychosocial construct used to classify a person as man, woman, both, or
neither. Gender encompasses all relational aspects of social identity, psychological
identity, and human behavior.

Department of Adult Detention I Adult Divisions

General Policy Manual

Gender Identity and Expression: Gender identity is someone's sense of their own
gender, which is communicated to others by their gender expression. Since most people
conform to societal gender norms, they have a gender identity congruent with their
gender expression and physical sex.
Gender Variant: Those people who cannot or choose not to conform to societal gender
norms associated with their physical sex. Many people choose to be gender variant in
some form and do not consider themselves 'born that way'.
Intersex: A person who is born with genitalia and/or secondary sex characteristics
determined as neither exclusively male nor female, or which combine featu res of the
male and female sexes.
Sex: The physical anatomy and underlying chromosomal and hormonal biology that
determines whether someone is male, female, or intersex.
Transgender: The overarching term for a variety of individuals, behaviors, and groups
involving tendencies along the gender continuum that are in opposition to or in
divergence from the social identity known as "gender role" (woman or man) commonly,
but not always, assigned for life at birth. Transgender is the state of one's identity not
matching one's assigned gender, or of falling into muitiple categories in terms of gender
and sexual identification. Transgender is inclusive of such diverse categories as
transvestism, transsexualism, and any other traits and behaviors not typically associated
with one's assigned gender.
Transsexual: A person who establishes a permanent identity with the opposite gender
to their assigned sex. Transsexual men and women make or desire to make a transition
from their birth sex to that of the opposite sex, with some type of medical alteration
(sexual reassignment therapy) to their body.
A. General Guidelines
1. All DAJD forms, formal interaction, addresses, and valid law enforcement
discussions shall include the arrestee's birth and/or legal name or the name the
inmate has been booked under.
2. Staff should address inmates by last name and refrain from using forms of
address such as Mr. or Mrs.
3. If staff are uncertain about names or pronouns, they should respectfully ask the
4. Inmates shall not be punished for respectfully clarifying name and pronoun
usage by staff.
5. Unless such questions are part of a formal investigation or other situations that
affect the safe and secure operation of the facility, staff shall not ask personal
questions related to sexual identity, gender identity or gender expression.
6. Transgender, transsexual, gender variant, and intersex inmates shall have access
to all necessary medical and mental health care. For more in depth protocol
involving Jail Health Services refer to the 2004 Jail Health Procedures.

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Department of Adult Detention I Adult Divisions

General Policy Manual

7. Transgender, transsexual, gender variant, and intersex inmates will be provided
with a commissary form that conforms to their housing assignment and security
a. As long as it does not disrupt the safe and secure functioning of the facility
transgender, transsexual, gender variant, and intersex inmates shall be
permitted to wear the same items as anyone eise of their adopted gender
(i.e., transwomen will be provided with bras, and personal supplies given to
other females).
b. For male-identified inmates who have not or are not having chest surgery,
DAJD will, upon request, issue shirts that are large enough to fit loosely over
the chest area to heip the inmate maintain a gender-congruent appearance.
c. menstrual hygiene supplies are available on an as-needed basis.
d. shaVing supplies are availabie through the facilities commissary.
e. After reviewing an inmate's medical history, and if approved, JHS shall
provide Transsexual inmates with necessary continuing care items such as
stents and other post-operative supplies.

B. Intake, Transfer and Release
1. At the time of booking, the Officer shall make a booking note denoting the
inmate's gender identity and the inmate's physical sex.
2. Following Department policy 5.01.001 Admission Procedures, all inmates shall be
screened for medical and psychological issues, and be afforded the opportunity
to speak with medical and psychiatric services in order to assess the inmate's
3. DAJD staff shall follow the dictates of this policy and other relevant Departmental
protocol for handling transsexual, transgender, gender variant, or intersex
inmates during transport, release, or any other time the inmate is off jail
grounds, but still under the care of DAJD staff.
4. Strip Searches and inmate "dress-outs" shall be carried out following Department
policy 4.02.005 Strip Searches, including, but not limited to:
a. Strip searches of transgender, transsexual, intersex, or gender variant
inmates must be authorized by the duty Sergeant or higher authority before
b. Those inmates in post-conviction status and being booked on those charges
that require a strip search shall be searched following the gUidelines in the
above strip search policy.
c. Strip searches will not be done to see the inmate's genitals and/or to
determine gender.
d. The reason for the strip search must be documented.
e. Strip searches shall be done by two Officers who are of the same physical
sex as the inmate.
f. If the inmate's physical sex cannot be determined, and/or the inmate refuses
to cooperate, JHS shall be called in to make the determination with
uniformed staff standing by for security purposes.

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pepartment of Adult Detentjon I Adult Divisions

General Policy Manual

C. Behavior Toward Transsexual/Transgender/Intersex/Gender Variant
1. Following Department policy 1.03.020 Anti-Harassment, the following activities
constitute harassment of inmates and must not be engaged in by DAJD staff or
other inmates.
a. Talking within hearing/sightline of a transgender, transsexual, intersex, or
gender variant inmate about their own gender identity or gender identity in
general in a derogatory or hurtful manner.
b. Talking about or ridiculing transgender, transsexual, intersex, and gender
variant inmates specifically, or these populations in general, to the larger
inmate population. This could have the effect of sanctioning and bringing
already existing' prejudicial feelings to the surface in other inmates, which
could make things unsafe for transgender, transsexual, intersex, and gender
variant inmates.
c. Asking an inmate personal questions about what their genitals look like, why
they want to undergo gender reassignment, or anything else related to their
gender identity or its presentation.
d. There may be necessary exemptions which include, but are not limited to:
1. Jail Heaith Staff personnel, when performing their duties relating to the
sexual and gender identities of inmates.
2. Departmental investigations or other formal inquiries.
3. As part of the Classification process.

D. Housing
1. Following DAJD policies 6.01.005 Inmate Classification and A55essmentand
6.03.003 Critical Inmate Placement all transsexual, transgender, intersex, or
gender variant inmates in the care of DAJD will be classified and assigned
housing based on their safety/security needs, housing availability, gender
identity, and genitalia.
2. There are some times, as with any inmate, when a transsexual, transgender,
intersex, or gender variant inmate will not be right for placement in general
population or group administrative segregation. This assessment will be made
following DAJD policy 6.03.001 Administrative Segregation and not on the basis
of gender identity, but on relevant objective criteria, which includes but is not
limited to:
a. Inmate has been charged, or convicted of, a violent crime.
b. Inmate has a record of disruption or non-cooperation.
c. There is a history of escape attempts.
d. There is a history of victimizing others.
e. Inmate has marked or severe symptoms of a mental or physical illness that
may require special housing. (Being transsexual, transgender, gender variant,
or intersex does not count as an illness for this requirement.)
7. Inmates placed in protective custody/group segregation because their gender
identity/expression places them at risk shall have access to the same services
afforded to general population inmates assigned to the same custody status.

6.00,000 Transgender Inmates Draft Page 4 of 5

Department of Adult petention I Adult Divisions

General Policy Manual

E. Dispute Resolution
1. Following Department policy 6.04.002 Grievance Procedures, inmates have the
right to submit a written or verbal complaint when an issue cannot be resolved
informally, or the allegation involves gross or criminal conduct by staff.
2. If the DAJD grievance protocol does not resolve the issue or complaint, the
inmate may attempt resolution through the use of the King County
Ombudsman's Office.

F. Staffing and Training
1. Staff shall receive New Employee Orientation training as well as in-service
training relevant to these protocols.
2. Staff can refer transgender, transsexual and gender-variant inmates for psychosocial assessment, case management" care coordination, and rele.ase planning
at the Seattle Division and Kent Division by contacting theJHS SpecieloMedical
Needs Social Worker at 2%"3415 or pager 6,\S-Oere.

6.00.000 Transgender Inmates Draft Page 5 of 5