UK. Prisoners with male bodies who "self-identify" as women can continue to be housed in women's prisons. The House of Lords confirmed this.
A few months ago, the High Court had already confirmed the legality of the practice: male-bodied convicts can be detained together with women"regardless of whether they have taken legal or medical measures to acquire their new gender", therefore on the basis of a free self-declaration.
The undersecretary of state for justice, Tory Lord Wolfson of Tredegar, dismissed the suggestion that women would find themselves sharing their accommodation with rapists and sex-offenders, saying that each request is carefully considered (but what happens in Canadian women's prisons tells a different story.: see here)
Former Tory Home Secretary Lord Blencathra said: "I am not one of those who believe that women should not be sent to prison. When the crime warrants it, women should go to prison and be punished. But that punishment should not include the threat of violence by brutal rapists who have decided to identify themselves as women and ask to be sent to a women's unit. Women's prisons are currently run as mixed-sex institutions. This is because Ministry of Justice policies allow male prisoners who identify as transgender and meet certain criteria to be assigned to women's prison and detained alongside vulnerable women". He concluded: "The Ministry of Justice may act legally, but it does not act decently nor does it do its duty to protect women.".
Former Brexit Party MEP Baroness Fox of Buckley added: "When I speak in public and say that the Ministry of Justice's policy allows male prisoners to be housed in a female prison based on their self-declared gender identity ... the listener is appalled. From the series: Has the world gone mad?". He concluded: "It really makes no sense for the government to spend a lot of words and devise strategies against violence against girls and women if it has no scruples in allowing rapists to share the same accommodation as vulnerable women in prison. Women who, let's face it, cannot leave, cannot escape, because they are locked up by the State".
Lord Wolfson replied: "Our policy is not driven by ideology, but by respect for the law of the land and the intention to protect all prisoners. The world has not gone mad. It is a big mistake to think that the government has no 'scruples' in letting rapists share accommodation with women. Our policy is that transgender prisoners are assigned to a prison that corresponds with their genre legalbut you may decide otherwise if this would constitute a risk to other prisoners.".
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