ACLU praises Connecticut for passing ‘most protective transgender policy and law in the country’
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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) praised Connecticut for its new policy on transgender prison inmates, calling it the "most protective transgender policy and law in the country." 

The policy, which will make Connecticut the first state to legally allow transgender individuals to be housed in prisons that align with their gender identity, has been hailed by civil rights and pro-LGBT groups as a landmark accomplishment. 

"This is a really big deal,” the state's ACLU executive director, David McGuire, told The Associated Press. “It is, in our mind, the most protective transgender policy and law in the country.”

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In most cases, the legislation will also allow transgender inmates to be searched by a correctional officer of their same gender identity, and to be issued corresponding clothing items. Inmates undergoing hormone therapy upon their imprisonment will be allowed to continue while serving out their sentence. 

GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders Director Jennifer Levi told the AP that the law may spur other states to pass comprehensive protections for transgender people in correctional facilities. 

The legislation was signed into law earlier this month and will go into effect on July 1. It will require that inmates have a diagnosis of gender dysphoria or legal identification matching their gender identity in order to be eligible for protections. 

The legislation was passed by state lawmakers, including unanimously in the Connecticut House of Representatives, as part of a bill requiring the state's Department of Corrections to determine whether female inmates are pregnant before they are incarcerated.