Prisoners: Gender Recognition

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 8th September 2021.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what provisions are in place to prevent men claiming to identify as a woman to ensure their transfer to a female prison.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Decisions regarding the allocation of transgender prisoners are made on a case-by-case basis, as set out in the Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service policy framework ‘The Care and Management of Individuals who are Transgender’.

Where a prisoner wishes to be moved to a prison that does not match their legal gender, a Complex Case Board (chaired by a senior prison manager) must be held to consider this request. The prisoner is encouraged to make their views known, but this does not oblige HMPPS to allocate them accordingly. In the decision-making process the assessment of risk is paramount (including any risks posed to, and by, the prisoner and the risk of self-harm). The policy requires the Case Board to consider, amongst other factors, the strength of a person’s evidence of living in their acquired gender (including any evidence that may raise concerns about an offender’s sincerity or motivations), as well as a prisoner’s index offence and offending history.

We are confident that this approach allows us to appropriately balance and protect the rights, safety and wellbeing of all prisoners.

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