Two prisoners at New Jersey’s only women’s prison have become pregnant after having sex with a transgender inmate.
The women had engaged in “consensual sexual relationships with another incarcerated person”, the state’s department of corrections told NJ.com.
They were being held at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility at Union Township, about 16 miles west of New York City.
The transgender prisoner, Demi Minor, 27, who is serving 30 years for manslaughter, has been moved to another prison for young adults.
Minor is understood to have been one of 27 transgender women at the Edna Mahan facility.
New Jersey introduced a policy allowing prisoners to be housed according to their self-proclaimed sexual identity last year.
It did so after being sued by a transgender inmate who was being held in a men’s prison. The case was backed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
As a result of the pregnancies, the New Jersey Corrections Department said it was currently reviewing the policy for housing transgender incarcerated persons with the intention of “implementing minor modifications.”
A spokesman said accommodation decisions “are made within the parameters of the settlement agreement which requires consideration of gender identity and the health and safety of the individual”.
Minor has used a blog to complain about the treatment meted out by the New Jersey authorities.
An appeal to be strip searched by a female officer was turned down while being held in a youth correctional facility.
“Subsequently I was transferred to New Jersey State Prison, where guards continued to call me, he and him.
“I was called he and him well over 30 times, this has not happened to me in years being referred to primarily as a man.
“When I arrived at Trenton state prison several guards strip searched me and placed me in the infirmary on constant watch.”
Minor added: “I don’t think DOC realises the psychological damage that has been done from moving me out of a women’s prison to a male facility, it’s harsh and, I don’t know what it is like to live as a man, and I refuse to ever revert back to such habits or behaviour.”
In January the Biden administration restored guidelines which had been scrapped by Donald Trump requiring federal prisons to consider the safety of transgender prisoners.
The move honoured a campaign pledge in which Joe Biden promised to tackle widespread abuse faced by transgender inmates.
A 2020 study by NBC found that only 15 of an estimated 5,000 transgender inmates in state prisons had been housed according to their self-declared sexual identity.
This left them vulnerable to harassment, discrimination and sexual assault.
However, the policy only applies to federal prisons where an estimated 1,500 transgender inmates are being held.