Prison Service Policy on Trans Prisoners is to have no policy

I feel another letter to a minister coming on.

People are probably aware of the Sonia/Nina case, which I’ve blogged about previously but to summarise, a Trans woman was inexplicably put in a male prison. Following that incident, I submitted a Freedom of Information request asking about Prison Service Policy on the matter.

This isn’t the first time the issue of Trans prisoners in the UK has come up. Work by Press for Change on the issue with the Prison Service dates back at least fourteen years. More recently, it came up in September 2009, when a Trans woman won in court against the Prison Service, who had refused to move her to a women’s prison. That resulted in a question in parliament, along with a followup question which between them revealed the existence of a draft Prison Service Order which, it was implied, was close to being finalised.

Over a year on from that case and there isn’t anything published yet. The Ministry of Justice are delaying their response to my request for “a copy of draft PSO 3300 [Guidelines on the Management, Treatment and Care of Prisoners who have or have had Gender Dysphoria] or any other related draft or current PSOs, PSIs or similar guidelines” because they need to consider if it’s in the public interest to release it. To do this, they’re relying on an exception that it’s related to “Formulation of government policy”.

I guess that answers the first part of my question then, relating to the status of the guidelines. It’s still being formulated, over a year later.


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