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Gender Identity Disorder: Prisoners

Volume 502: debated on Tuesday 8 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects the Prison Service Order on gender dysphoria to be published. (304662)

A draft Prison Service Order (PSO) on guidelines for the management, treatment and care of prisoners who have or have had gender dysphoria is currently 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.

The Department is currently reviewing the health aspects of the draft PSO and will provide advice to officials at the Ministry of Justice who are responsible for all other aspects within the PSO.

There is no agreed date as yet for publication of the PSO. The final PSO will be comprehensive as it deals with very complex issues such as the general position in law on the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and Disclosure of Information as well as general principles concerning the treatment of prisoners living ‘in role’, and guidance around searching. This PSO will ensure that all staff are fully aware and understand the protocols for managing prisoners who have or have had gender dysphoria.