The state Department of Corrections told NJ.com that the unidentified jailbirds became pregnant at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility after engaging in “consensual sexual relationships with another incarcerated person”.
It is unclear if the women had sex with the same transgender inmate, or if it was two different inmates. It is also unclear how far along the two inmates are, and whether they plan to continue with their respective pregnancies. An investigation has been launched.
This is coming a year after New Jersey enacted a policy to allow prisoners to be housed in accordance with their preferred gender identity.
There are more than 800 prisoners, including 27 transgender women, at the Jersey correctional facility, which does not require trans women to undergo gender-reassignment surgery in order to be housed there.
The policy requires state prisons to provide more protections for transgender, intersex, and nonbinary people.
The state must house prisoners by the gender they identify with rather than the sex they were born with, and the policy says a prisoner can announce a change in gender identity at any time while they’re behind bars, the Daily Mail reported.
The policy also entitles those individuals to single-cell housing until they are permanently placed, private shower time, and a prohibition of physical examinations to determine an inmate’s sex.
Transgender inmates also have the right to have input into housing decisions and to appeal the determinations that are made by DOC
Male officers are also prohibited from doing pat-down searches on transgender women, according to the policy.
The union that represents the corrections officers who work at the facility said the new policy made things more dangerous.
The union representing correctional officers at the facility issued a statement decrying the policy allowing transgender females to be incarcerated at Edna Mahan.
‘We opposed this policy change believing it would be detrimental to the general population of female inmates being housed at Edna Mahan and also bring added stress to our correctional police officers assigned to this institution’