The move by the government and the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) will halt the acceptance of biologically male violent offenders into female prisons, as women around the country of raised concerns about people like Isla Bryson, a convicted double rapist who started identifying as a woman while awaiting trial and was being held in Cornton Vale women's jail until last week.
The rapist was removed from the female facility, as the government announced a reform of its transgender prison policies. This is amid the controversy in Scotland regarding self-ID for those who identify as trans as opposed to with their birth sex. The UK Parliament blocked the implementation of Scotland's law.
"We have commenced an urgent review of all transgender cases currently managed in our establishments," an SPS spokesperson said. "Our first concern is always, and remains, the health, safety, and wellbeing of all the people in our care, and that of our staff."
"This review will consider any history of violence or sexual offending against women, and associated risk, with a view to determining the most appropriate location for the individual to be accommodated," the SPS added.
They noted that the review will be "independently assessed by experts in women affected by trauma and violence."
The new Scottish policy to remove violent trans offenders from female jails and prisons has exemptions to be made on a case-by-case basis, but the Ministry of Justice said that "only the most truly exceptional cases will be considered."
According to the Times, "the SPS has now paused all movement of transgender individuals until the review is complete."
While the review is underway, any transgender convicts with a history of violence towards women and who are entering the prison system for the first time will be held in male units.
Another concerning case has been that of Tiffany Scott, formerly known as Andrew Burns, who stalked a 13-year-old girl and was recently approved to be placed in a female jail, according to Sky News.
The Times reported that Scott has assaulted inmates, security officers and female nurses in several different facilities already.
Up until this point, the SPS policy was that transgender prisoners should be incarcerated in facilities corresponding to their "social gender."
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