The UK government has announced that it is set to considerably reform its policy on transgender prisoners so that inmates with “male genitalia”, or who were convicted of sexual offences, will be prohibited from being placed in women’s prisons.
Following a review initiated by the short-lived administration of former PM Liz Truss, who was unceremoniously kicked out of office by her own party in October for attempting to institute a set of mild free-market reforms, the Conservative government announced on Wednesday that it is prepared to change its policy on housing transgender inmates.
Under the proposed framework, biologically male transgender women will be prohibited from being placed in female-only prisons if they still have “male genitalia” or have been convicted of a sexual offence. There will be a carveout, however, for government ministers to decide to exempt an individual from the general policy under “only the most truly exceptional cases”.
“The safety of all prisoners is paramount. These changes will ensure a sensitive and common-sense approach to meeting the needs of women in custody, while we continue to ensure that transgender prisoners are appropriately supported in whichever estate they are located in,” the government said in a release on Wednesday.
The government did not say exactly when the new policy will be implemented, saying that it will publish guidance “shortly” upon which the change will be instituted by the Prison Service.
Alleged Transgender Woman Convicted of Raping Two Women as a Man https://t.co/Ew9vPpOF34
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 26, 2023
The announcement of the change comes in the wake of national controversy surrounding the fate of convicted double rapist Isla Bryson, born Adam Graham, who claimed to be a transgender woman after a trial began last year in Glasgow over the rape of two women in 2016 and 2019. Prior to the trial Bryson (then Graham) appeared as a bald-headed man with a Mike Tyson-style face tattoo.
Following the conviction, Bryson was reportedly set to be imprisoned at the Cornton Vale women’s prison. However, after massive public backlash, the left-nationalist First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon announced that the rapist will not be allowed to serve out the sentence in the female-only prison.
“Given the understandable public and parliamentary concern in this case, I can confirm to parliament that this prisoner will not be incarcerated at Cornton Vale women’s prison,” Sturgeon said.
“I am setting out very clearly that I agree with the chief executive of Rape Crisis Scotland when she said ‘I dont’ see how it’s possible to have a rapist within a female prison,” the Scottish National Party leader added.
According to a report from Sky News, on Thursday, Bryson will be removed from the female prison, where the rapist was being held in segregation during the trial.
UK: Violent Transgender Convict Sent to Women’s Prison After Brutal Knife Attack https://t.co/qbCIfPWlko
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 10, 2018
Despite this, it is doubtful that Scotland will also implement a ban on biological males from being placed in women’s prisons, with the far-left locally devolved government being at the forefront of the transgenderism movement globally. The SNP government recently attempted to pass legislation to allow 16-year-old children to legally change their gender, however, earlier this month, the UK government in Westminster blocked the bill from becoming law.
At present, all decisions on housing transgender individuals is made on a case-by-case basis in Scotland. Yet adding to the confusion surrounding the policy, last year, Police Scotland said that suspected rapists and other criminals are allowed to self-identify their gender without any evidence other than a “self-declaration” as was the case with Bryson.
There have been longstanding issues of safety surrounding allowing biologically male transgender inmates to live alongside female inmates. One such example saw double rapist Martin Ponting, now Jessica Winfield, forced into isolation after reportedly sexually harassing female inmates at the Bronzefield women’s prison.
The former governor of the very same women’s prison in which Bryson was set to be imprisoned, Rhona Hotchkiss, said last year that it is not only an issue of physical or sexual threats posed but that the mere presence of “male-bodied prisoners among vulnerable women causes them distress and consternation.”
There have also been concerns that male convicts would attempt to game the system and avoid men’s prisons by falsely claiming to be transgender, with the Policy Exchange think-tank recently warning that “it is not inconceivable that a man with no trans identity would make a strategic decision to change legal sex in order to move prisons… to get out of the harsh, and often dangerous, context of a male prison.”
Twelve Sexual and Violent Offender Trans Inmates Moved Into Women’s Prisons in Scotland https://t.co/P5JiXVSq4f
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 4, 2021
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