In a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom, the Women’s Liberation Front accused the state of violating the constitutional rights of incarcerated women and subjecting them to “physical, psychological, and emotional harm” by allowing transwomen into their living quarters to “prey on women.”
“Those running the prison system know how dangerous conditions have become for the women in California state custody. Many of the correctional officers have openly acknowledged that they expect the women will be raped and assaulted, there will likely be pregnancies, and, in general, the environment will be ripe for exploitation of the women and challenging to control,” WoLF states.
The WoLF has received numerous complaints from women who have been subject to abuse from transwomen, WoLF Legal Director Lauren Adams said. “We are working with a woman who was punched in the face so hard by a new transfer that she couldn’t chew for three days. He was taken away and released back in a different yard with no restrictions,” Adams said. “He was her cellmate. She had to sleep with him.”
The WoLF is classified by Vox as a trans-exclusionary radical feminist group. This group is opposed to today’s third-wave feminism, which promotes transgender issues. California currently has 273 transfer requests for transwomen seeking to transfer from male prisons to female prisons. 266 of the requesters are housed at male institutions and are seeking to be transferred to female institutions, while only seven transmen are seeking to be transferred from female institutions to male institutions.
According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), the state has 1,286 inmates who identify as transgender or nonbinary. So far, 24 transwomen have been transferred to female institutions. WoLF speculates that many of the inmates looking to transfer to women’s prisons are not transgender, but are looking to escape their current living situation. “A lot of these men checking the box and trying to get transfers are probably trying to save their lives. I wouldn’t want to be in the men’s prison,” Adams said. “You are giving them a way to get out of that, but now it’s the women who are in danger.”
A CDCR spokesperson told the Washington Examiner the transfer process includes “a thorough review of the incarcerated person’s history prior to and during incarceration, their crime, arrest and criminal history, trial and sentencing documentation, medical and mental health needs …” Wolf has requested that the governor stop all new transfers and reverse and transfers that have happened until a safety assessment can be conducted.