Transsexual prisoners may be able to serve their sentences in the prison of their choice, under official guidance.
The new policy for England and Wales also orders prison staff to respect the “self-identified gender” of inmates and ensure men have access to hair dye and make-up.
The Government’s drive to promote transsexualism was further evident this week, after reports that the Department for Education (DfE) allocated £200,000 of funding to LGBT lobby group Educate & Celebrate.
A review into existing prisons’ policy concluded that it places too much emphasis on a prisoner’s birth sex and whether they had undergone ‘sex-change’ surgery.
The draft policy says to avoid “distress and harm”, staff should endorse whichever gender an inmate chooses to identify as.
It admits it will not always be possible to place transsexual prisoners in the jail of their choice but stresses that they should always be able to live as they choose.
“Regardless of where prisoners are held, they should be respected in their self-identified gender, being provided with those items that enable their gender expression”.
The number of people who have had a gender recognition certificate since the 2004 Act to change their legal birth sex is under 4,000 – around 0.006 per cent of the UK population.
This week several newspapers reported that Educate & Celebrate, an LGBT lobby group, has received £200,000 of funding from the DfE.
The group advocates a ‘gender neutral’ uniform policy in schools, meaning boys can wear skirts. This has been introduced by around 40 primary schools in England.