The House will be aware of the tragic death of Jenny Swift at Doncaster prison on
I cautiously welcome the new guidance regarding the management of transgender prisoners, and I am sure we are all keen to see all transgender people treated with respect and dignity. However, can the Minister assure the House that the new guidance applies to transgender people held in immigration and detention centres, as well as to those housed in the general prison system?
I thank the hon. Lady for her question. The new guidelines to staff were issued on
I thank my hon. Friend for that question. Again, to put the issue into perspective, we currently have four people who are in that position in the estate. The new guidelines state that all transgender prisoners
“must be allowed to express the gender with which they identify”,
irrespective of prison location.
Will the Minister confirm that that means there is no longer a requirement for a gender recognition certificate? Will he also tell us how confident he is that these guidelines are being applied across the whole estate and when he expects to do an assessment of their impact?
The underlying principle is that people are cared for and managed in the gender with which they identify, rather than that being based solely on their legally recognised gender. As I said earlier, the guidelines came about through interaction with various independent organisations, and staff are being trained in this area. I think some perspective is required here: we have a prison system that is traditionally male-female, and we are dealing with relatively small numbers, but, yes, I am keeping an eye on this issue. In particular, with regard to recent tragic events, I am also looking individually at each case.