Tags: inmate | sex change | surgery | judge | tax payers

Inmate's Sex-Change Surgery Must Be Funded by Prison, Tax Payers: Judge

By    |   Friday, 03 Apr 2015 12:11 PM

An inmate convicted of murder will receive taxpayer-funded sex-change surgery that could cost $100,000 after a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that not doing so would violate the inmate's constitutional rights.

The Associated Press reported that the Thursday ruling by U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar "marks just the second time nationwide that a judge has issued an injunction directing a state prison system to provide the surgery."

The previous order, issued in Massachusetts in 2012, was overturned, and is being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

California Corrections Health Care Services spokeswoman Joyce Hayhoe told the Los Angeles Times said the operation would be the first in state-prison history, and could cost as much as $100,000.

The inmate, Michelle-Lael Norsworthy, 51, was born Jeffrey Bryan Norsworthy, and was convicted of second-degree murder in April 1987. She is currently serving 17 years to life at Mule Creek State Prison outside of Sacramento, California — an all-male prison.

She has delayed scheduled parole hearings multiple times.

Norsworthy began identifying as a woman during her prison sentence in the 1990s, and a doctor diagnosed her with gender dysphoria in January 2000, Reuters reported.

"The weight of the evidence demonstrates that for Norsworthy, the only adequate medical treatment for her gender dysphoria is SRS," Judge Tigar wrote in his ruling, referring to sex reassignment surgery.

In previous court filings, corrections officials argued that Norsworthy has received counseling, mental health treatment, and hormone therapy to treat the gender dysphoria, and that she will be in no immediate medical danger without the surgery.

Moreover, corrections officials argued that a sex change would create logistical problems, as the surgery could make Norsworthy a target for assault and rape in the all-male prison. Also, they added, her history of domestic violence before the murder conviction could invite retaliatory violence at a women's prison, and/or Norsworthy could pose a threat to the women herself.

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An inmate convicted of murder will receive taxpayer-funded sex change surgery that could cost $100,000 after a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that not doing so would violate the inmate's constitutional rights.
inmate, sex change, surgery, judge, tax payers
316
2015-11-03
Friday, 03 Apr 2015 12:11 PM
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