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Transgendered Prisoners

Volume 498: debated on Monday 2 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what recent estimate he has made of the number of transgendered prisoners in England and Wales; (296023)

(2) how many (a) draft and (b) final prison service instructions or orders concerning transgendered prisoners have been published since 1997;

(3) what recent consideration he has given to the adequacy of prison accommodation provided for transgendered prisoners.

I have been asked to reply.

Neither the Department of Health nor the Ministry of Justice collect information on the number of transgender prisoners.

The Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA) gives a person in possession of or applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate the right to privacy. However, not all transsexual or transgender prisoners will be covered by a GRA and it does not necessarily afford that person absolute anonymity. There may be certain situations where it may be required to prove a link between their current legal gender and their former gender, for example, to prevent further offences. This information is also not available centrally.

No Prison Service Instruction or Order (PSI/PSO) concerning transgender prisoners have been published since 1997.

A draft PSO on guidelines for the management, treatment and care of prisoners who have or have had gender dysphoria is undergoing revision following the ruling of a recent Judicial Review in which the claimant, a pre-operative transgender prisoner, applied for Judicial Review of a decision of the defendant Secretary of State for Justice refusing to transfer her from a male prison to a female prison. The application was accepted and the outcome ruled in favour of the claimant.

There is no specific policy guidance regarding accommodation for transgender prisoners.

Officials at the Department and the National Offender Management Service are currently considering accommodation issues as part of the draft Prison Service Order on guidelines for the management, treatment and care of prisoners who have or have had gender dysphoria.