After Gov. Jerry Brown paroled one inmate who requested tax dollars pay for a sexual reassignment surgery, it seems the state is on the hook for another. California reached a settlement with a second inmate to pay for the surgery.
In this settlement agreement between the state and Shiloh Quine, two mental health experts weighed in, both agreeing that the surgery is medically necessary for Quine. Based on that medical opinion, California agreed to provide the 56-year-old with sex reassignment surgery as soon as possible and then move her to a female inmate facility.
The medical experts said that Quine, who entered the prison system as Rodney, had severe gender dysphoria. They said feeling and looking female, but having male genitalia, caused profound distress for Quine.
Quine attempted suicide on multiple occasions and self-castration once, according to the documents. She has been treated with counseling and hormone therapy since 2009.
The medical experts said this helped, but the next step is to undergo surgery. They argued failure to get it will likely lead to further emotional anguish and self-harm.
Transgender civil rights organizations celebrated the decision.
“I think that’s part of what the 8th amendment needs to be able to say, and that’s if something is medically necessary, then it’s medically necessary. Regardless if someone is incarcerated or not,” said Jo Michael with Equality California.
Quine has been openly living as female in prison for seven years now and the settlement documents said she has endured harassment by staff and inmates, who refer to her as “dude” and make “puking” sounds in her presence.
Quine was convicted in Los Angeles County for first-degree murder, kidnapping and robbery. She has been in prison since 1981. The state wouldn’t comment on the cost of the surgery but Quine’s lawyers said it ranged from $15,000 to $25,000.