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Convicted murderer arguing to be moved to women’s prison

A convicted murderer is trying to get transferred to a women’s prison after transitioning to a woman, but Correctional Service Canada is fighting against the move.
Graeme Gordon Montreal, QC

A convicted killer who is serving a life sentence in a penitentiary for men is demanding to be transferred to a women’s prison now that she’s self-identifying as a woman.

Jamie Boulachanis recently transitioned from a man to a woman under Canadian law and will have her case heard in which Correctional Service Canada is arguing Boulachanis shouldn’t be trasferred to a women’s facility–in spite of a Federal Court order–due to public safety concerns and her ability to escape prison.

In 2016 a Montreal jury found Boulachanis, born John Boulachanis, guilty of killing 32-year-old Robert Tanguay back in 1997. For years Tanguay’s body remained hidden, buried in sandpit.

According to the Montreal Gazette, Correctional Service Canada (CSC) is cited Boulachanis history of trying to escape detention, including one case where she escaped her restraints and ran from a prison bus before being tackled by a guard in less than a minute.

“(Her) risk of escaping is considered high, as is the risk to the public if (she) escapes. She requires a high degree of surveillance and control inside penitentiaries,” CSC wrote in its challenge against the court order to move Boulachanis to a women’s jail.

In the murder trial, the courtroom was told that Boulachanis was worried Tanguay was a police informant ratting on Boulachanis and his accomplices for car thefts and other crimes they were involved in. The jury was also told that Boulachanis was sleeping with Tanguay’s wife after his disappearance.

It’s still unclear if Boulachanis has yet undergone sexual reassignment surgery, although it was scheduled for January.

Last spring a judge ruled that refusing Boulachanis a transfer to a women’s prison is “discrimination based on gender identity or expression.”

The CSC’s arguments against allowing Boulachanis to be transferred will be heard in a Montreal courthouse on Monday.

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Graeme Gordon
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