Biological Males With Intact Genitalia, Sex Crime Convictions, No Longer Welcome In This Country’s Women’s Prisons

Biological Males With Intact Genitalia, Sex Crime Convictions, No Longer Welcome In This Country’s Women’s Prisons

Laurel Duggan on January 26, 2023

The U.K. will no longer allow males who identify as transgender women to be housed in women’s prisons if they have been convicted of sexual offenses or have intact male genitalia, according to a Wednesday announcement from the U.K. government.

Males who adopt transgender identities have been housed in U.K. women’s prisons since 2016; seven sexual assaults in women’s prisons were committed by transgender inmates without gender recognition certificates since then, according to The Guardian. Of the 163 transgender prisoners in England and Wales as of 2019, 81 had been convicted of a sexual crime and 34 were held in women’s prisons.

“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 announcement read.

Ministers will be allowed to let some males with intact genitalia or sexual crime records into women’s prisons in “the most truly exceptional cases,” the announcement reads, though it does not specify under what conditions this would be allowed.

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The previous transgender prison policy has stirred outrage and controversy since 2016, but anger erupted in recent days after Isla Bryson, who was convicted of raping two women, adopted a transgender identity and was placed in a women’s prison in Scotland, according to the BBC. Bryson will be kept apart from the general prison until a risk assessment is conducted, at which point authorities will decide where to place the prisoner.

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