The Maine Department of Corrections is providing padded bras to juvenile inmates without breasts and chest binders to juvenile inmates with breasts following a March 2020 policy directive from MDOC Commissioner Randall Liberty, an MDOC spokeswoman has confirmed.
“We purchase the chest binders through Amazon as needed when requested,” Jane Tower said in an email.
Tower said MDOC purchases the padded bras through Bob Barker, a contractor that works primarily with prisons.
The policy directive aimed at juvenile detention facilities states the following: “Clothing, personal hygiene and grooming items, and other gender-specific property items allowed to a transgender or intersex resident shall not include items that are not allowed to other residents, except, if applicable, for clothing items that are consistent with a resident’s gender identity, e.g., padded bra for a resident who identifies as female, chest binding for a resident who identifies as male, etc.” (emphasis added)
According to MDOC, padded bras may be medically necessary to help those juvenile delinquents who lack natural breasts present as though they have breasts, while chest binding may be medically necessary to help young inmates with breasts present as though they do not have breasts.
As a result of the policy directive, both items of clothing will be provided at taxpayer expense to juvenile inmates who are intersex or who identify as transgender.
Though exactly how much money the state is spending on so-called “gender affirming” clothing for incarcerated adults and juveniles is an open question. In response to a Freedom of Access Act request seeking this information, Hightower said the information could not be provided as spending on chest binders and padded bras is categorized with all other clothing expenditures.
The MDOC policy change is part of a broader policy shift under the administration of Gov. Janet Mills to offer more taxpayer funding for controversial surgical procedures, hormone treatments, and other accommodations recommended by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), a far-left organization that advocates irreversible puberty blockers and sex-change surgeries as a treatment for gender dysphoria.