Story by Kate Sosin, courtesy of the Windy City Times
In a Windy City Times exclusive, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart announced that Cook County Jail has instituted a policy for housing transgender detainees based on their gender identity, rather than birth sex.
The policy became effective on March 21. It is thought to be the first of its kind in the United States.
"Particularly with this issue, we wanted to do it right," Dart told Windy City Times, adding that "medical and sociological" concerns for transgender people "even superseded security issues."
The seven-page policy mandates that transgender detainees be allowed to consult with a "Gender Identity Panel" of physicians and therapists before being placed into male or female housing. It also directs correctional staff to allow transgender people to wear clothing/ own hygiene products consistent with their gender identity. Further, it requires that corrections staff, physicians, and therapists undergo gender-related sensitivity training administered by the sheriff's department. The policy is a far cry from old standards, which, officials said, were nonexistent.
Read the whole story here.