Scottish Prison Service still encouraging male convicts to access women’s jails

Male prisoners in Scotland who claim to be female should live in women’s jails to prepare them for their release, according to new guidance.

In an equality assessment report, the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) outlined guidance on its policy to allow men to be housed in women’s prisons unless they have a record of “violence against a female” from next month.

The report claimed men “should be provided the opportunity and supported to work towards being accommodated in an estate that aligns with their affirmed gender so that, on release to the community, they have had the opportunity to live with those who share their affirmed gender”.


The SPS argued that even for men who are not to be allowed in women’s prisons, “there may be other ways of supporting their gender identity, for example through access to work parties, activities, or even programmes with others of their gender identity”.

Prisons are places for safe custody not laboratories for experiment.

Dr Kate Coleman of the campaign group Keep Prisons Single Sex responded: “I am horrified at the suggestion that male prisoners who even the SPS deem to be unsafe for the female estate should nevertheless be able to access activities in women’s prisons”.

“This is an outrage. I am disgusted that this policy, as inadequate to ensure the safety of women as it is, appears to be hiding a reality that is far more sinister in the danger that it presents to female offenders”.

Former SNP Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill added: “Prisons are places for safe custody not laboratories for experiment. It’s the state’s duty to keep vulnerable women who have offended safe, even though denied liberty. To endanger them to pursue their gender ideology is grotesque”.

Prison officers

Under the new guidance, female prison officers will no longer have to search a man who identifies as a woman if a prison governor deems it to be “necessary and proportionate”.

Previously, women were required to search male prisoners “with the intention of respecting the individual’s lived gender”. But from February, male prison officers will be allowed to undertake the task in certain circumstances.

But the SPS will no longer publicly confirm where men are placed in women’s prisons and only publish data on “the total number of transgender people in our care”.

Last year, SPS ordered a policy assessment following an outcry when convicted rapist Adam Graham was initially placed in a segregated unit in a women’s prison.

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