Starting in May, trans men and women arrested in Los Angeles will be housed in a lockup specifically for trans suspects, the LAPD announced. Currently MTF prostitutes arrested in L.A. are housed in the men’s lockup, where many report abuses by both other arrestees and correctional officers are prevalent. The 24-bed transgender module—the first of its kind in the U.S.— will be housed in the LAPD’s women’s jail downtown.
Police Chief Charlie Beck told a group on Thursday night that officers assigned to that department would be trained in referring to trans men and women as the gender they present and other relevant issues.
“This is a major change. [It'll create] an environment that’s safe and secure, as there’s been a history of violence against transgender people,” Capt. Dave Lindsay, who will oversee the special lockup, told the L.A. Times.
The same policy also instructs officers to treat transgender individuals with respect and courtesy when encountering them on the street and bars them from searching transgender people with the sole purpose of determining their anatomical gender.
We can’t there’s an upside to being arrested, but at least now it will be a somewhat less dehumanizing experience.