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FIRST ON FOX: The Department of Justice (DOJ) is paying a private company $1.5 million to develop a “transgender programming curriculum” to be used across all U.S. prisons.
The DOJ’s Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) entered a contract on July 1, 2021, with The Change Companies in Carson City, Nevada, for $1.5 million for developing transgender-specific programming for transgender prison inmates.
The BOP’s Office of Public Affairs explained in a statement to Fox News Digital that The Change Companies is creating a curriculum for transgender federal inmates that “teaches techniques to seek support for mental health concerns and skills to advocate for physical, emotional, and sexual health and safety.”
“The BOP provides services and programs tailored to address the needs of the transgender population,” the statement read. “By entering into a contract with The Change Companies, the BOP is able to expand program offerings for transgender inmates.”
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“Through this engagement, the vendor has been tasked to develop transgender-specific programming to be implemented at all BOP institutions nationwide,” it continued. “These include three programs focused on reentry, transition acceptance, and a support group to assist transgender inmates in addressing reentry needs and managing identity concerns. The vendor is in the process of creating these programs, which will include full curricula and facilitator’s guides, the use of instructional workbooks, and videos.”
The development phase of the curriculum is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2022, according to the contract summary on the government’s website.
“The BOP maintains procurement integrity and compliance with laws and federal regulations when procuring contracts of goods and services,” the agency’s statement continued. “The award of this contract was compliant with federal law and regulations to include fair pricing of the award.”
The BOP also pointed to the agency’s “Transgender Offender Manual,” which outlines the responsibilities of staff in handling transgender inmates. According to the manual, a transgender inmate must first meet with a BOP psychologist and sign a form indicating consent to be identified within the agency as transgender in order for special accommodations to be considered.
The BOP’s “Transgender Offender Manual,” issued in January also includes new protocol regarding gender-affirming surgery for federal inmates. It states that surgery is the “final stage in the transition process and is generally considered only after one year of clear conduct and compliance with mental health, medical, and programming services at the gender-affirming facility.”
“The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) recognizes the importance of appropriate gender-affirming management and treatment of transgender individuals in its custody,” the agency’s statement to Fox News Digital read. “The programming developed under this contract will be available for individuals identifying as transgender who are currently in BOP custody and moving forward.”
The Change Companies did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.
The BOP’s policies for transgender inmates made headlines earlier this month after the agency worked to fast-track a transgender ex-neo-Nazi bank robber’s gender affirmation surgery after the inmate, Donna Langan, filed a lawsuit claiming the BOP denied previous requests for the surgery.
In a case earlier this year, a federal judge in Illinois ordered the BOP to immediately find a qualified surgeon to perform gender-affirming surgery on transgender prisoner Cristina Nichole Iglesias.