On May 3, the Connecticut legislature passed SB13 An Act Concerning Fair Treatment of Incarcerated Persons, which includes some of the strongest protections in the country for transgender people who are incarcerated.

The updated law will ensure that transgender people are treated consistent with their gender identity including with regard to strip searches and access to clothing, commissary items and educational materials, as well as housing based on their recognized gender.

Advocating for fairer treatment of people who are incarcerated, through legislation like SB13 as well as litigation, is a priority for GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project. Transgender individuals are among the most vulnerable people within our systems of incarceration, facing daily harassment, humiliation, degradation, and abuse. The legislators and advocates, including the CT Equality coalition, who supported this change recognize that it is unacceptable for transgender people to face additional punishment simply for being who they are.

This victory is a step toward fairer treatment of transgender people who are incarcerated. We hope that other states will follow Connecticut’s lead on this critical issue.

GLAD is a supporting partner in CT Equality, a growing coalition of advocates and community organizations continuing the fight for equality and justice for LGBTQ+ people across Connecticut. On May 16, the coalition will host the CT Equality Convening, an opportunity for community members to talk about the issues they care about most and help shape the CT Equality advocacy agenda. RSVP here to join the conversation.