Prisoners: Gender Recognition

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 21st July 2021.

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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 biologically female transgender prisoners are housed in the male prison estate; what assessment they have made of the safety of those prisoners; what steps they are taking to protect those prisoners from sexual assault; and whether those prisoners are subject to full body searches by biologically male prison officers.

Photo of Lord Wolfson of Tredegar Lord Wolfson of Tredegar The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

At the time of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service Offender Equalities Report 2018/19, there were 163 people who self-identified as transgender. Of the 129 transgender prisoners in men’s prisons, 2 reported their legal gender as female. Although those known to hold Gender Recognition Certificates (GRCs) were excluded from this data set, it is possible that prisoners may not always disclose this as there is no legal requirement for them to do so.

The policy framework ‘The Care and Management of Individuals who are Transgender’ sets out how decisions regarding the allocation of transgender prisoners are taken. Local and Complex Case Boards provide expertise on the management of transgender prisoners. When managing prisoners, all risk information relating to each individual must be considered, including risk from others, risk to others and risk of self-harm, in order to protect the welfare and rights of every individual as well as those around them.

Searching arrangements for transgender prisoners are agreed on a case-by-case basis, but must be in line with PSI 07/2016 (Searching of the Person).

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