Around a half a dozen men have been transferred to female prisons after according to an employee at the Washington Correctional Center for Women.
The DOC employee told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show that the prison has stated to take any prisoner who claims to be a woman. These individuals are being housed in the general population with female cellmates.
When asked for comment by the Dori Monson Show, the DOH refused to answer whether this practice is occuring.
“We are not able to share any specific information about allegations, reviews, and cases,” said the DOH.
There is a major concern among staff that this practice will increase sexual assaults among prisoners. The employee cited an incident where a male who identified as a woman raped a female prisoner quickly after arrival. The inmate was transferred after being incarcerated for a sex offense and has “fully functional male genitalia, a history of violence and sexual depravity in the community, and has been found guilty of sexual assault against other inmates while housed in the men’s facilities.”
“He is a proven sexual predator, having committed multiple crimes against women, yet the State of Washington had no problem moving him into a women’s facility and housing him with the most vulnerable in our population,” says the employee.
“Word of the incident has inevitably traveled throughout the facility, causing much concern amongst both inmates and staff,” says the employee. “It demonstrated the state’s willingness to put the most vulnerable of our population in harm’s way, by locking them in a cell with a proven predator, with zero accountability or repercussions for the perpetrator.”
Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer says he has heard similar instances occur.
“What we’ve done is we’ve gotten in touch with the state patrol because it is the state’s jurisdiction out there,” said Troyer. “We’re making sure the state patrol is aware of this information that we’ve got from a couple different sources. And our command staff and detectives will be working with Washington State Patrol to make sure that they have everything they need, and everything we’ve got, and everything that’s out there.”
“If a man comes in and identifies as a woman in our jail, what we do is, if they have not had the surgeries that come along with it, they’re offered the chance to stay in a men’s facility as long they feel safe doing so,” said Troyer, referring to his county prison’s policy on transgender inmates. “They can also opt to be placed by themselves, but they are not placed with women.”
“Washington State Department of Corrections has established procedures to ensure equitable treatment of transgender, intersex, and/or gender non-conforming individuals when conducting intake screening and determining housing classification, programming, and supervision,” said the Washington DOC when asked for comment by the Dori Monson Show. “If they identify as transgender, intersex, and/or gender non-conforming, they are evaluated appropriately per this policy.”
In response to the incident alleged by the employee, the prison said the department does not have an “open, pending, or closed case” that meets the criteria described by the employee.
According to the employee, the only prerequisite required to be transferred to a female prison is that they only have to identify as a female. They do not need to be on hormones, had any reassignment surgeries, or in any process of transition, they only have to say they are a woman.
There are around 150 biological men in the process of being transferred according to the employee.