Biological Men in Women’s Prisons: An Underreported Crisis

"Gender-inclusive" prison policies have led to assaults, rapes, unplanned pregnancies, and severe trauma for female inmates. Progressive radicals demand them anyway.

Written by Hudson Crozier

The transgender movement seeks to reorder society so that "gender identity" is recognized in all public accommodations. As women's bathrooms, changing rooms, and other public areas have been opened to males over the last few years, Upward News covered the pattern that has emerged of women being harmed or violated in those spaces.

Despite the natural consequences of these policies, ideologues in the West have gotten bolder, demanding also that male prisoners who identify as women be detained in the same wards as biological women. To do otherwise, as stated in a British High Court ruling on the matter, "would be to ignore, impermissibly, the rights of transgender women to live in their chosen gender." In the United States, progressives have shown interest in getting the federal government involved via executive order and the Equality Act.

The popularity of such a radical idea as "trans-inclusive" prison housing is so new that it defies international guidelines on the basic rights of inmates; less than a decade ago, the United Nations declared that "different categories of prisoners shall be kept in separate institutions or parts of institutions, taking account of their sex, age, criminal record, the legal reason for their detention and the necessities of their treatment… Men and women shall so far as possible be detained in separate institutions."

Still, many state leaders see fit to hold women in confined spaces with men for years at a time, even the most dangerous men in the community. The resulting stories have been ignored by the mainstream media as it instead portrays traditional sex-based housing as inhumane toward "trans women." Thus, the effects of the transgender policies have been exposed through an unusual collaboration of right-wing media and feminist organizations.


Since Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) passed the Transgender Respect, Agency, and Dignity Act in September 2020, California prisons are required to house inmates according to their self-declared gender identity. Male prisoners seeking access to women's facilities do not need transition procedures, a gender dysphoria diagnosis, or legal status as their preferred gender to be accepted. Consistent with progressive ideology, the legislation asserts that they simply are women if they say they are, and a transfer request cannot be denied for “any discriminatory reason” like anatomy or “sexual orientation.”

Governor Gavin Newsom speaking in 2019 (Gage Skidmore)

After the law went into effect in January 2021, hundreds of male prisoners requested transfer to women's facilities in the state. The feminist organization Women's Liberation Front (WoLF) began a monthslong investigation.

The activists obtained images of posters inside the Central California Women's Facility (CCWF) describing new pregnancy resources for women, including abortion, birth control, and adoption. Sex between inmates is illegal in California, and prisons already fail to prevent it among males. Distraught female inmates took the CCWF's precautions as a sign that it had “given the okay” for rape to occur, especially since violent convicts and sex offenders would be among the transfers.

In August 2021, WoLF reported that “one woman, possibly more” had gotten pregnant in CCWF, according to seven sources inside the prison. Three males were reportedly moved to solitary confinement in response.

Left-wing site PolitiFact was quick to denounce the story in a fact-check piece: “No, a transgender woman didn't impregnate another inmate in California.” Its entire investigation consisted of speaking with someone at the California Department of Corrections who denied the claim, taking them at their word, observing the facility's stated policies on its website, and concluding without proof that the claim was definitely false. Due to PolitiFact's partnership with Big Tech, the fact-check resulted in the story being flagged as “misinformation” on social media.

Accusations against California's pro-transgender law eventually boiled over into a federal lawsuit by WoLF. Female inmates came forward with a number of shocking stories alleging rampant threats, sexual assaults, and promiscuity from male transfers, despite the efforts of prison officials to prepare.

“Most of the cross-dressing men claiming a 'transgender identity' and granted transfer… are sex offenders,” read the suit. “Most are heterosexual men who want to be housed with women to get penis-in-vagina sex, most stop taking any feminizing hormone medications right after getting into women's prison, they all refer to themselves as men when speaking to the women inmates.” The suit also described how women were forced to shower and share cells with men, sometimes trading sleep schedules amongst themselves “so that a woman is on watch to try to prevent rape by the male cellmate.” The experiences altogether have induced anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder in the women, some of whom were survivors of male abuse prior to being in prison.

According to another sworn statement, prison officials' responses have not only been negligent but penalizing for the women who complain. After a woman in CCWF reported a male inmate for sexually assaulting another woman, she was threatened by him for doing so. The prison placed both women in solitary confinement, and it is unclear what was done about the male inmate.

As the lawsuit is challenged in court by progressive lawyers, male prisoners have complained that the state does not adequately enforce its transgender law as hundreds await transfer to women's prison.

New Jersey

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the New Jersey Department of Corrections in 2019 over its treatment of a male prisoner who identified as transgender. Kept in men's prisons, plaintiff “Sonia Doe” endured threats and assaults and was denied various “gender-affirming” items. In June 2021, the state agreed in a settlement with the ACLU to respect housing preferences based on prisoners' gender identity, a policy that would be in effect for one year.

As the system changed, there was hardly any limit to the kinds of criminals allowed into the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women, New Jersey's only women's prison. Two of the most alarming examples were Ashley Romero and Marina Volz, who were each sentenced this year for human trafficking, aggravated sexual assault, conspiracy, and endangering the welfare of a child after using Volz's 7-year-old daughter for sadomasochist child pornography. Other transfers included a man who stabbed his aunt 47 times and another who beat a prostitute to death and drank her blood.

According to female inmates who spoke to feminist news site Reduxx, the influx of men into Edna Mahan resulted in rampant sexual assault and propositioning toward women. By June of this year, two were reported pregnant. Though sexual contact is usually prohibited, prison management has done little to prevent it.

"Everyone is having sex at Edna," said trans-identifying inmate Demi Minor, who admitted to impregnating the two women through "consensual relationships." One of them may never raise her child as she is serving a life sentence.

Following backlash from the pregnancies, officials moved to isolate Minor and four other males for their sexual activity. However, male inmates who receive gender transition surgeries are reportedly allowed to have sex since they don’t have the capacity to impregnate. This allowed a male murder convict to legally marry a female sex abuser in Edna Mahan.

New York

After initially hesitating due to safety concerns, New York City adopted a policy in 2018 to house prisoners according to gender identity, with few exceptions. A woman was later raped in Rikers Island in February 2021.

Rape kit evidence matched the DNA of trans-identifying inmate Ramel Blount, housed in the women's area of Rikers. He pleaded guilty in April to approaching the victim from behind in the shower, holding her down by the neck, and committing the act. He was sentenced to seven years imprisonment and required to register as a sex offender.

Mayor Bill de Blasio tours Rikers Island, 2021

While little is known about the effects of NYC's policy beyond the Rikers rape story, the transfer of inmate Christopher King offered a deeper look.

Convicted in 2014 of abusing and killing a 4-year-old boy, King was initially sentenced to men's prison despite identifying as a woman named "Kyrie." Following NYC's promise to accommodate gender identity, King was transferred in April to Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women. Reduxx examined the Department of Corrections' records to find that King had been reclassified as "female" and given a new prisoner identification number. The system had erased all connection to his past male status, listing the male version of King as "released" from custody.

For critics of transgender policies, decisions like these highlight the concern that future violence against women by male inmates will be hidden and go unpunished.

"In other words,” journalist Abigail Shrier writes, males inside women’s prisons "may soon be untraceable by journalists or feminist groups who would want to know how the women trapped in this experiment are faring."

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