Transgender prisoners with record of violence against women will be kept out of female jails as 'urgent' review called

29 January 2023, 19:32 | Updated: 29 January 2023, 21:15

Sturgeon has faced a series of controversies around trans prisoners in Scotland
Sturgeon has faced a series of controversies around trans prisoners in Scotland. Picture: Alamy

By Adam Solomons

Transgender prisoners with a history of violence against women will not be put in Scottish women's prisons for the time being as authorities launched an 'urgent' review into current practices.

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New guidelines announced today no transgender person with a history of violence against women will be moved from the male to female estate.

And no newly convicted or remanded trans prisoner with a history of violence towards women will be placed in the female estate to begin with.

It comes as the Scottish Government faces a flurry of controversy around offenders Isla Bryson and Tiffany Scott.

Read more: Shelagh Fogarty 'objects' caller's views on trans rapist

Read more: Fresh trans prisoner row as 'dangerous' inmate who stalked 13-year-old girl 'to be moved from men's to women's jail'

Isla Bryson, 31, was found guilty of rape last week
Isla Bryson, 31, was found guilty of rape last week. Picture: Alamy

Ms Scott will be released only when she is no longer considered an "unmanageable risk to public safety", but had a request to be transferred to a women's prison approved by the Scottish Prison Service (SPS).

And convicted rapist Isla Bryson was initially remanded to Cornton Vale women's prison before being moved to a men's facility by the SPS.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has faced tough questions from MSPs, who consider her accountable for alleged failings under the current model.

Scottish Justice Secretary Keith Brown said: “I understand that the issue of any trans woman being convicted of violent and sexual offences is a highly emotive subject and that the public concern is understandable.

Scotland has ordered an urgent review into current prison practices
Scotland has ordered an urgent review into current prison practices. Picture: PA

“As the First Minister pointed out last week, 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.

“Therefore, I hope that the measures I am about to highlight will offer reassurance in the ongoing ability of the prison service to manage trans individuals and ensure the safety of all prisoners.

“We must also never forget that there are victims in these cases. My thoughts remain with them.”

Shelagh Fogarty disagrees with caller who says trans rapist should be housed in a female prison.

Scottish Labour’s justice spokeswoman Pauline NcNeill said the SNP has waited too long to act.

She said: "It should not have taken this level of public outcry to do the right thing.

“The Scottish Government now needs to change the policy which they oversaw and to bring forward guidance which take account of the views of woman prisoners as a matter of urgency to make sure this does not happen again.”

Caller scared about trans woman in prison despite being with Rose West

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