Prisoners: Gender Recognition

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 29th January 2020.

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Photo of Lord Blencathra Lord Blencathra Chair, Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee, Chair, Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many male prisoners, currently in prison, who self-identify as female have been moved to female prison wings.

Photo of Lord Blencathra Lord Blencathra Chair, Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee, Chair, Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) assaults, (2) sexual assaults, and (3) rapes, have been committed against female prisoners by male prisoners who self-identify as female.

Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)

We are not able to release the requested information. This is because the number of prisoners, within our transgender data collection, who have reported they are declared male on their birth certificate who self-identify as female and are located on female prison wings, is five or fewer[1]. Low numbers are suppressed to prevent disclosure in accordance with the Data Protection Act, 1998. This applies to values of five or fewer or other values which would allow values of five or fewer to be derived by subtraction. This is to prevent the identification of individuals. For this reason, we are also not able to release information on the number of assaults that have been committed, as the number of perpetrators of such crimes would be low and could also lead to the identification of individuals.

The Ministry of Justice is fully mindful of the need to manage risk and to balance the rights of all prisoners in the women’s estate. We are committed to ensuring that transgender offenders are treated fairly, lawfully and decently, with their rights and safety properly respected. Regardless of where a transgender individual is being held, we expect that they will be respected and addressed in the gender with which they identify.

[1] Details of the number of transgender prisoners were provided by Equalities Representatives in public and private prisons in England and Wales, between 26 March 2019 and 24 April 2019. Transgender prisoners were defined as those individuals known within prison to be currently living in, or are presenting in, a gender different to their sex assigned at birth and who have had a case conference (as defined by PSI 17/2016 The Care and Management of Transgender Offenders). The prison population is dynamic and as such the number of transgender prisoners currently in prison may now differ from the number at the time data was collected

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