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Violent trans criminals CAN be locked up in female jails


  • After Isla Bryson scandal, new policy puts women MORE at risk, say Tories 

Transgender criminals with a history of violence against women and girls could still be allowed to serve their sentences in female jails under ‘unacceptable’ new guidelines.

The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) policy will apply to transgender inmates who are considered not to pose ‘an unacceptable risk of harm’.

But the guidelines have sparked concerns that they create a loophole which presents a danger to women.

The guidance has been issued in the wake of the row over Isla Bryson, a transgender rapist who was initially sent to an all-female prison following conviction. 

Bryson was subsequently removed to a male wing of a prison after widespread criticism.

Rapist Isla Bryson was initially sent to a women¿s jail

Rapist Isla Bryson was initially sent to a women’s jail

In England, regulations came into force in February banning transgender offenders who have not undergone full reassignment surgery from being sent to women’s prisons.

The SPS Policy for the Management of Transgender People in Custody (2023) states ‘a transgender woman will not be eligible to be considered for admission or transfer to a women’s prison’ if they have been convicted or found to have committed ‘any offences that perpetrate violence against a female that results in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering’.

Included among these offences are murder, culpable homicide, assault, robbery, abduction, threatening violence, rape or sexual harassment, bullying and intimidation and commercial sexual exploitation of women.

However, it adds that such prisoners could be transferred to a women’s jail if a risk management team panel decides that ‘they do not present an unacceptable risk of harm to those in the women’s prison’.

Scottish Tory justice spokesman Russell Findlay said: ‘These long overdue new guidelines actually put women at even greater risk by further eroding their fundamental right to single-sex space. They say that male prisoners with a history of violence against women or girls should be allowed in the female estate and will only be blocked if they present a risk, which is completely subjective.

‘This is clearly unacceptable. The SNP shamefully used vulnerable and voiceless female prisoners to impose its dangerous gender self-ID policy by stealth, which resulted in the obscene case of Isla Bryson being sent to a women’s jail.

‘Anyone who has a history of violence against women and girls should automatically be barred from going to a women’s prison – not given a subjective evaluation.’

The SPS said its policy aims to protect ‘the health, safety, and wellbeing of all people in Scotland’s prisons’.

The ten-page document sets out an ‘individualised approach’, which ‘supports the rights of transgender people, and the welfare of others in custody, as well as SPS staff’. It states that when a transgender person is admitted into custody, they should be considered ‘on an individual basis as far as possible’.

However, if putting them in their chosen accommodation exposes ‘unacceptable risks that cannot be mitigated or this risk is as yet unknown, they will initially be located in an establishment that aligns with their sex assigned at birth’.

The policy will come into force on February 26 next year.

Teresa Medhurst, chief executive of the SPS, said: ‘Every individual in the care of SPS is treated with dignity and respect, with their rights upheld, and any risks carefully managed.’

Justice Secretary Angela Constance said: ‘This updated policy protects the safety and welfare of staff, those in their care and the rights of transgender people. It makes clear that if a transgender woman meets the service’s violence against women and girls criteria they will be admitted and accommodated in the male estate.’



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