Michigan corrections department to aid transgender inmates

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -- A new policy at the Michigan Department of Corrections is opening the door for more transgender inmates to receive transition-related treatments.

The revised policy was put into place June 26. Prior to the change, inmates were only allowed to receive treatment if such care was already scheduled before the person was incarcerated. Now, inmates can receive hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgery while still in prison.

If an inmate believes they are gender dysphoric, the corrections department's new Gender Dysphoria Collaborative Review Committee will look at the inmate's medical history and give a medical and psychological evaluation to potentially approve treatment.

Gender dysphoria is defined as a conflict between a person's assigned gender and the gender they identify with.

MDOC says there are currently 50 transgender inmates across 30 Michigan facilities.