Texas' largest county jail has adopted a policy protecting LGBT inmates.

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said the new policy is one of the most comprehensive in the country.

The policy states “discrimination or harassment of any kind based on sexual orientation or gender identity is strictly prohibited.”

According to the AP, the policy also outlines how gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex inmates will be searched, booked and housed.

Houston's county jail processes roughly 125,000 inmates annually, making it the third-largest in the United States after Los Angeles and Chicago's Cook County.

The policy – a first for a Texas county jail – took effect Wednesday.

The Washington-based National Center for Transgender Equality helped craft the new policy.

“It represents a significant step forward,” said Harper Jean Tobin, the group's director of policy. “This is not a red or blue issue. It is an issue of preventing violence, of meeting the state's legal and moral responsibilities to keep people safe and safeguarding public funds that when sexual abuse happens in prison need to be spent on medical care and mental health care and recovery.”

The policy allows transgender inmates to be housed based on the gender they choose and to be addressed and identified by their chosen name.