Amendment ID: S2185-1-R1
Redraft Amendment 1
Equal protections for LGBTQ prisoners
Mr. Cyr, Ms. Jehlen, Messrs. Barrett, Hinds and Timilty move to amend the bill move to amend the bill by inserting after SECTION __ the following 3 sections:-
SECTION XX. Chapter 127 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 32 the following section:-
Section 32A. Prisoners of correctional institutions, jails, and houses of correction having a gender identity, as defined in section 7 of chapter 4, that differs from sex assigned at birth, with or without a diagnosis of gender dysphoria or any other physical or mental health diagnosis, shall be:
(a) addressed in a manner consistent with their gender identity;
(b) provided with access to commissary items, clothing, programming, educational materials, and personal property that are consistent with their gender identity;
(c) searched by an officer of the same gender identity if the search requires an inmate to remove all clothing or includes a visual inspection of the anal cavity or genitals, provided that the officer’s gender identity is consistent with the prisoner’s request, and further provided that such a search shall not be conducted for the sole purpose of determining genital status; and
(d) housed in a correctional facility with inmates with the same gender identity, provided that the placement is consistent with the prisoner’s request.
SECTION XX. Chapter 127 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 117A the following section:-
Section 117B. A prisoner who requests to initiate treatment related to gender transition or gender dysphoria and is denied treatment shall be offered an opportunity to be referred to an independent healthcare provider with expertise in transgender health care for consultation. A prisoner who previously received a diagnosis of gender dysphoria while in the custody of the department of correction shall not require a new diagnosis to obtain treatment related to gender transition.
SECTION XX. Notwithstanding any general law or special law to the contrary, there shall be a special commission to study the health and safety of lesbian, gay, transgender, queer, and intersex prisoners in Massachusetts correctional institutions, jails, and houses of correction to evaluate current access to appropriate healthcare services and health outcomes.
The special commission shall consist of 8 members, including 1 member from corrections appointed by the department of correction, 1 sheriff appointed by the sheriff’s association, 1 former judge appointed by the chief justice of the supreme judicial court, 1 representative of a healthcare provider with expertise in transgender healthcare appointed by the governor, 1 representative appointed by the national association of social workers, 1 representative appointed by Prisoners’ Legal Services, 1 representative of an organization specializing in the advocacy, education, direct service, and organizing of currently and formerly incarcerated lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and transgender individuals appointed by the attorney general, and 1 representative of legal advocates with expertise in advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, and intersex individuals in the criminal justice system appointed by the attorney general.
The members of the special commission shall be provided full and unfettered access to all Massachusetts state prisons and houses of correction, and shall be allowed to interview prisoners and staff to the extent practicable. The special commission shall gather information that includes, but is not limited to: (1) the number of prisoners who have received diagnoses of gender dysphoria or transition-related healthcare; (2) the number of prisoners who have been denied diagnoses of gender dysphoria or transition-related healthcare; (3) the number of denied requests for an alternative housing or facility placement by prisoners in connection with their gender identity, and the reasons for the denial; and (4) training provided to department staff and contracted health professionals on lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, and intersex cultural competency.
The special commission shall produce a report which shall include specific recommendations to improve outcomes, a timeline by which specific tasks or outcomes must be achieved, and recommendations for improving prisoner health and safety, provided that the first report shall be published within one year of the passage of this Act. The special commission shall issue a subsequent and final report evaluating implementation of its recommendations within three years following passage of this Act. The commission shall make reports publicly available and shall deliver copies of said report to the governor, the attorney general, and the joint committee on the judiciary of the general court.