Opaque and overdue: the Scottish Prison Service trans prisoner policy review

Opaque and overdue: the Scottish Prison Service trans prisoner policy review

This article, published by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, looks at developments on the Scottish Prison Service trans prisoner policy review between December 2018 and December 2020. The artice concludes as follows:

At the time of writing, the review process remains elusive. Indeed, at no stage have the SPS or Scottish Government formally announced that a review would take place, responding only to media queries, parliamentary questions or Freedom of Information requests. Nor are the terms of reference available. There are no routine statistics published on the number or placement of transgender prisoners, nor on how many prisoners transition before or after reception into prison. Meanwhile, few criminal justice practitioners or academics appear willing to speak out on what remains a heated issue.

Nevertheless, it remains the case that there is sufficient evidence, both published and unpublished, to show that some female prisoners are uncomfortable at the placement of biological males in the female estate, and that some female staff are uncomfortable managing transgender prisoners, in particular undertaking searches.

Acknowledging this conflict, between the interests of female prisoners and staff, and those of transgender prisoners will be critical to making this policy work.

2 December 2020