Friday 19 January 2018

Sex-change inmates to be allowed padded bras and make-up

James Tapsfield in London

BRITISH jails have been told that sex-change inmates must be allowed access to padded bras and make-up to cover stubble growth.

They should also be able to purchase "gender-appropriate" clothing from a home-shopping catalogue, according to a detailed set of instructions circulated by the Ministry of Justice.

The mandatory guidelines, which come into force next week, state: "An establishment must permit prisoners who consider themselves transsexual, and wish to begin gender reassignment, to live permanently in their acquired gender."

The 20-page document informs prison officers that "transsexual people, particularly those who have not undergone surgery or extended hormone therapy, may use various items to assist with their presentation in their acquired gender.

"These can range from sophisticated prostheses, to padded bras. Regardless of their level of sophistication, access to them can only be restricted in exceptional circumstances," the instructions state.

"These items may only be prohibited when it can be demonstrated that they present a security risk which cannot be reasonably mitigated. The test that is applied to these items is the same as that applied to other items in the prison in which the prisoner is held.

"Any restriction of these items could be subject to judicial review. If a prison decides to apply such restrictions, they must be able to provide a detailed and reasonable justification. Both male-to-female and female-to-male transsexual people may use make-up to present more convincingly in their acquired gender," the rules add.

Unlike male prisoners, sex-change inmates cannot be forced to wear prison uniform if they are punished by being moved to the basic privileges regime.

Irish Independent

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