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Under a policy that went into effect in January 2023, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals can request placement at a facility that is in alignment with their gender identity, rather than their gender assigned at birth.
Requested placements and transfers will be made “unless the requested placement would pose a heightened risk of physical or sexual harm to that person or those housed in the preferred facility,” according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections.
The state announced on June 1, 2023, that it would transfer an inmate from Moose Lake to its Shakopee facility that houses female offenders — the first transfer approved under the policy.
Minnesota joins 10 other states and the District of Columbia with a policy for transferring inmates based on gender identity. The Federal Bureau of Prisons also permits housing trans inmates according to their gender identity if deemed appropriate after a review.
This fact brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.
- Department of Corrections MN Dept. of Corrections to Transfer First Person Under New Transgender Policy
- NPR A trans inmate wins health care and will move to women’s prison after suing Minnesota
- Federal Bureau of Prisons Transgender Offender Manual
Jayne Williamson-Lee is a freelance science journalist who is part of MinnPost’s fact briefs team.