- The Washington Times - Friday, June 10, 2016

California prison officials must give transgender inmates more female accessories, including nightgowns, robes, jewelry and scarves, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

The order comes as a part of a settlement in which the state agreed to pay for the sex-reassignment surgery of Shiloh Quine, 56, who identifies as a woman and is serving a life sentence without parole for murder, kidnapping and robbery.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Nandor Vadas said the initial settlement did not go far enough, agreeing with attorneys who said the state was denying access to paraphernalia “based solely on gender norms,” rather than security concerns, The Associated Press reported.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation must grant transgender inmates housed in men’s prisons access to accessories available in women’s prisons, including some chains and necklaces, pajamas, sandals, scarves and T-shirts, the judge said.

“Transgender women like Shiloh shouldn’t be denied items that every other woman in CDCR custody has access to,” said Ilona Turner, legal director of the Transgender Law Center, in a statement to the AP. “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.”

Critics of the decision said transgender prisoners are not entitled to feminine products under civil rights law, and introducing such items into men’s prisons might increase the incidence of sexual assault.

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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