Prisoners: Gender Recognition

Ministry of Justice written question – answered at on 24 January 2022.

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Photo of Tonia Antoniazzi Tonia Antoniazzi Shadow Minister (Northern Ireland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the OASys Sexual reoffending Predictor (OSP) Guidance for Practitioners, dated December 2021, whether biologically male transgender prisoners (a) with and (b) without a Gender Recognition Certificate who are convicted of sexual offences are risk-assessed using OSP; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Tonia Antoniazzi Tonia Antoniazzi Shadow Minister (Northern Ireland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the OASys Sexual reoffending Predictor (OSP) Guidance for Practitioners, dated December 2021, what tools are used to assess the risk of biologically male transgender prisoners (a) with and (b) without a Gender Recognition Certificate who are convicted of sexual offences; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Minister for Afghan resettlement

OASys Sexual Reoffending Predictor (OSP) was developed for use with legally male offenders and so is not used with offenders who are not legally male. However, transitioning will not result in an offender’s risk assessment being less robust. Whether or not a transgender prisoner is assessed using OSP is not a factor in decisions about whether to allocate them to a men's or women's prison, which are only made after all individual risk factors have been thoroughly assessed.

The most accurate risk assessments combine actuarial methods of prediction with structured professional judgement. The Offender Assessment System (OASys) allows HMPPS staff to undertake actuarial assessments. It also provides a structure to record their assessment of the risks posed by, and needs of, an offender.

Apart from OSP, all actuarial risk assessment tools can be used with men and women. These tools are:

- Offender Group Reconviction Scale version 3 (OGRS3), for risk of any proven reoffending

- Risk of Serious Recidivism (RSR), for risk of serious proven reoffending, which comprises sexual reoffending (using OSP, or a simple base rate for legal females) and serious nonsexual violent reoffending (a separate algorithm)

- OASys Violence Predictor (OVP), for risk of nonsexual violent proven reoffending

- OASys General reoffending Predictor (OGP), for risk of nonviolent proven reoffending

Forensic psychologists also use a range of risk assessment tools with this cohort, which involve using their professional judgement. These are used on an individual basis, as with any offender, taking into account the full range of characteristics of the person being assessed.

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