TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – A transgender inmate has been transferred from a Kansas men’s prison to Topeka State Prison for Women.
13 NEWS investigated a question from an inmate’s point of view at El Dorado Correctional Facility transferred to Topeka Correctional Facility, the all-female state institution.
The convict was formerly known as Thomas Lamb. Lamb was convicted of kidnapping and killing a young woman in 1969 and kidnapping a second young woman in 1970. Court documents indicate that she legally changed her name to Michelle Lamb in 2007.
In 2017, a U.S. District Court ruled against Lamb in a lawsuit asking the state to move her to a women-only facility and allow her to undergo gender reassignment surgery. An appeals court upheld the ruling in 2018, saying that while it wasn’t the treatment Lamb might have wanted, evidence showed that she was being given treatment for gender dysphoria and the state was not showing “deliberate indifference” for his situation.
However, Kansas Department of Corrections records show that she was transferred on January 27 to the Topeka Correctional Facility.
While it’s not known whether Lamb will now be allowed to proceed with gender reassignment surgery, 13 NEWS asked KDOC public affairs director Randall Bowman if the state would pay for the procedure if he did.
Bowman declined to comment specifically on Lamb’s case.
“Healthcare decisions are not made by KDOC officials,” Bowman said. “Due to patient privacy concerns, KDOC and the Governor’s Office cannot comment on the specifics of medical care for any individual.”
Bowman said the state contracts with a company called Centurion for health services to prison facilities. He said KDOC doesn’t make decisions about health care.
Bowman said that under the state’s contract with Centurion, no single procedure would impact the state’s overall rate and therefore would not pass directly to taxpayers.