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Texas county adopts policy to protect LGBT inmates

BY RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI
ASSOCIATED PRESS

HOUSTON -- The sheriff of Houston's Harris County has adopted a sweeping policy designed to protect and guarantee equal treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender inmates. That includes allowing transgender individuals to be housed based on the gender they identify with instead of their biological sex.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office is the first to adopt the policy in Texas and believes it's one of the most comprehensive in the country. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the policy ahead of an official announcement Thursday.

It states "discrimination or harassment of any kind based on sexual orientation or gender identity is strictly prohibited."

Houston has the third-largest county jail in the U.S.

The 11-page policy went into effect Wednesday.

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