Female Prison Estate

Justice – in the House of Commons at on 21 February 2023.

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Photo of Neale Hanvey Neale Hanvey Alba, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath

What steps he is taking to ensure the safety, privacy and dignity of women within the female prison estate.

Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Last month, we published our plan to deliver the female offender strategy for England and Wales, including better outcomes and physical conditions for women in custody.

Photo of Neale Hanvey Neale Hanvey Alba, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath

The recent controversy over the custody of double rapist Adam Graham and other violent offenders has illustrated the danger and naivety of self-ID, with tumultuous consequences, yet the Ministry’s latest statistics for England and Wales show that 230 trans-identifying males are being held on the female prison estate, and that there have been 97 sexual offences, 44 of which were rape. The Scottish Government acted swiftly, so what action will the UK Government take to limit that harm, review practices and clarify equalities legislation to ensure that prisoners are protected from abusive males?

Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Of course, safety must always come first. I can confirm that we do not hold prisoners based on their self-declared gender identity. Our approach is that transgender women, including those with gender recognition certificates, can be held on the main women’s estate only if a risk assessment concludes that it is safe. The changes to our policy mean that no transgender woman convicted of a sexual offence, or who retains male genitalia, can be allocated to the general women’s estate other than in truly exceptional circumstances.

Photo of Katherine Fletcher Katherine Fletcher Conservative, South Ribble

May I welcome the comments about the female prison estate? Turning to the male prison estate, His Majesty’s Prisons Garth and Wymott in my constituency