Male prisoners in Canada who identify as women can ask to be placed in female-only prisons.
A recent directive from the Correctional Services of Canada (CSC), will see newly sentenced offenders placed according to their chosen gender identity, rather than their biological sex.
Offenders already in prison may apply to transfer to an institution for members of the opposite sex if they say they are transgender.
Women’s safety threatened
The directive makes permanent an interim policy allowing such transfers since 2017.
A coalition of nine women’s rights groups criticised the CSC over the rule, arguing it poses a serious threat to women’s safety.
Several incidents of abuse and assault of female inmates and staff by trans-identifying convicts have been reported in recent years.
poses a serious threat to women’s safety
Heather Mason, a former prisoner and now a spokeswoman for Canadian Women’s Sex-Based Rights, said: “There’s a high proportion of males in maximum security looking to transfer”.
According to Mason, inmates are frustrated with the lack of action from guards and administrators who are too afraid to go after transgender inmates for bad behaviour.
She said that they believe “trans prisoners are untouchable”, that they “control everything” and that the CSC is “scared to discipline them because they’re scared of being sued”.
‘Male sexual predators’
Last month, a 43-year-old male to female transsexual at HMP Bronzefield in Surrey was caught engaging in sexual activity with a much younger female inmate.
A prison source revealed the inmate, who was a convicted murderer, “had free rein to move around, mingling with the other women”, even though he was still anatomically male.
The source said this was not the first time “nor will it be the last, that male sexual predators are allowed to declare themselves as female and allowed to transfer to female prisons”.