Sexuality Research and Social Policy

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 393–407 | Cite as

Protections for Transgender Inmates Under PREA: a Comparison of State Correctional Policies in the United States

  • Michelle L. MalkinEmail author
  • Christina DeJong


The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) contains several protections for transgender inmates; specifically, that prison administration understands key definitions of “transgender,” that inmates are provided with the appropriate classification and housing, and they are kept safe from victimization by other inmates and staff. A total of ten states were found to be fully compliant by the Department of Justice deadline in 2015, but these policies are changing rapidly in the USA. This analysis aims to determine the status of each state’s protections using publicly available information about correctional policies. We find that approximately half of the states in the USA have published policies consistent with PREA, but several maintain policies regarding transgender inmates that are in direct conflict with federal law. Recommendations for compliance are provided.


Transgender inmates PREA compliance 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Criminal JusticeMichigan State University|East LansingUSA

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