Trans rapists ‘must be housed with male prisoners’, peers urge

Transgender prisoners who identify as female and have been convicted of sexual offences should be housed in male estates, peers have urged as they call for a change in the law.

This week, the House of Lords will debate a tabled amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that will call for female transgender prisoners, who were born male, to serve their sentence in male estates if they have been convicted of sexual offences.

Campaigners and peers have said the move will help protect vulnerable female prisoners.

In a letter to the Telegraph, four members of the Lords raised concerns on how Gender Recognition Certificates (GRCs) have been obtained by "males convicted of serious violent and sexual offences who have subsequently transferred to the female prison estate".

"We contend that if it is lawful for a prisoner of the male sex convicted of rape to be housed alongside women, many of whom have been the victims of rape and serious sexual assault, then the law must change."

Lord Blencathra, one of the letter’s signatories, said he was left "shocked and deeply upset" when he learnt of the experience of one female offender, who was held alongside transgender inmates "convicted of the most serious violent sexual offences".

"I recently heard a female former offender speak about her experience of being held with male prisoners and the devastating impact this had had on her," Lord Blencathra said.

"The males she was held with included those convicted of the most serious violent sexual offences and those who had kept their male genitalia.

"They were in women’s prisons and [mixed] with women because they had Gender Recognition Certificates.

"This meant that the prison service treated them in every respect as biological sex women. That is not right.

A government source said: "The Government will be paying close attention to this Lords amendment. Whether or not it passes, these peers will raise the issue of women’s [safety]."

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