California Spends $4 Million On ‘Gender-Affirming’ Surgeries For Inmates

The state of California has spent over $4 million of taxpayer funds on surgeries related to gender reassignment procedures for prisoners since 2017. Some of the prisoners who have and will receive said procedures include death row inmates.

It’s been reported that since California became the first state to offer to pay for prisoners gender reassignment surgeries, millions of dollars have been spent on procedures for 157 inmates, with four of those inmates being on death row. Between 2017 and July 2023, $2.5 million was spent on vaginoplasties for 35 male prisoners.

Another 11 male prisoners got breast implants, costing the state more than $180,000. Two men in the prison system got what were described as facial feminization surgeries, totaling $184,141.

Laser hair removal was given to 69 male inmates, costing $224,000, while 40 female prisoners had their breasts surgically removed, costing more than $1 million, bringing the estimated total of all procedures to just under $4.1 million. The totals included four death row inmates who received gender-altering surgeries.

The costs should be increasing for the coming fiscal year as well, with budget records showing another $2.187 million slated for the 2023-24 “Integrated Gender Affirming Healthcare Program.” These costs included hundreds of thousands in salaries for psychiatrists, a social worker, a surgeon, and more.

The number of inmates who identified as transgender has skyrocketed in recent years, with the number increasing by 14 times in the last decade. In 2014, a reported 131 inmates in California said they were transgender. As of October 18, 2023, that figure ballooned to 1,847 and was based on prisoners simply self-identifying as such.

“This number is based on incarcerated people who self-identify using the Gender Identity Questionnaire,” the state document read. The California State Corrections Department reportedly does not place any limits on the types of procedures any transgender-identifying prisoners can request.

According to the report, the state had received almost 1,000 requests for “gender-affirming” surgeries by mid-2023. But this leaves many taxpayers angry over the fact they are funding prisoners’ personal life choices to alter their bodies.

Furthermore, getting gender reassignment surgery does nothing to reduce suicide, mental health, or rehabilitation in society — not to mention creates tension, fear, and physical risks to female inmates that are forced to cohabitate with dangerous men.