The U.K Government is spending £150 million to create 500 new cells for trans-identified male inmates in women's correctional institutions.
The private cells will be single occupancy and have en-suite toilets and showers, and while the Ministry of Justice has claimed they could also be used for female inmates with children, U.K politicians have confirmed their primary purpose is to "meet transgender needs."
The £150 million will allegedly be spent to build a total of 500 new cells, which has prompted many questions from the public. As of 2019, there were only 163 trans-identified male inmates in women's institutions in England and Wales, and just 4 in Scotland. This is the latest data revealed after Freedom of Information requests were completed by women's rights group Keep Prisons Single Sex.
However, the FOI also noted there were an additional 129 trans-identified male inmates housed in men's prisons in England and Wales, with 7 in Scotland during that same period. The quantity of new cells being created could possibly indicate the Government perceives a dramatic increase in men being transferred to women's institutions in the near future, or an overall spike in trans-identified male inmates across the board.
According to Keep Prisons Single Sex, 57% of trans-identified male inmates in correctional institutions in England and Wales have at least one conviction for sexual offenses – compared to only 17% of male inmates who are not trans-identified.
There have been more than a handful of controversial cases in which extremely violent male inmates have identified their way into a women's institution in England and Wales, putting the females inside at risk.
One of the most infamous instances, that of Karen White, saw a repeat rapist and child sex pest sent to a women's institution where he went on to sexually assault multiple female inmates.
In 2020, it was reported that despite making up only around 1% of the women's prison population, trans-identified males are responsible for almost 6% of all sexual assaults that occur in those institutions. But this already-staggering estimate is widely considered to be inaccurately conservative.
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