Scotland introduces new measures as transgender prisoner policy reviewed
LONDON (Reuters) - The Scottish government said on Sunday it would review the management of trans prisoners and introduce measures in the meantime to stop transgender people with a history of violence against women being placed in female prisons.
On Thursday, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that a transgender woman convicted of rape would be moved out of an all-female prison after concerns were raised over the safety of other inmates.
On Sunday, the government said no newly convicted transgender prisoner with a history of violence against women would be placed in a female prison, and that no transgender person already in custody would be moved from a male prison to a female one.
"We must not allow any suggestion to take root that trans women pose an inherent threat to women. Predatory men are the risk to women. However, as with any group in society, a small number of trans women will offend and be sent to prison," said Scottish justice minister Keith Brown.
"I hope that the measures ... will offer reassurance in the ongoing ability of the prison service to manage trans individuals and ensure the safety of all prisoners."
Brown said the Scottish Prison Service was reviewing its policies, but these had not been changed by the passage of Scotland's Gender Recognition Reform Bill.
The bill, which supports a self-identification process for changing gender and a lower minimum age, was blocked from coming into force by the British government.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Ros Russell)