Aims and Objectives
Keep Prisons Single Sex is a UK campaign to keep all males out of women’s prisons.
Official guidelines on the care of transgender prisoners state that a male who has a Gender Recognition Certificate meaning that he is legally a woman must be housed in the female estate, regardless of whether or not he has had any ‘reassignment’ surgery. A male who identifies as a woman, but who does not have a GRC, can still apply to be housed in a women’s prison.
We believe that this is wrong and that no male should ever be housed in a women’s prison. The Equality Act (2010) backs us up on this. Whilst ‘gender reassignment’ is included in the list of protected characteristics, the Act allows for all males, including those who have a GRC stating they are legally women, and including those who have the protected characteristic of ‘gender reassignment’, to be excluded from single-sex spaces for women. They can be excluded simply because they are male.
Women need single-sex spaces for reasons of safety, dignity and privacy. Women in prison are no exception. Women in prison are known to be a highly vulnerable group. Many have experienced violence and sexual assault from the men in their lives. It is accepted that female offenders make the best progress in a women-only setting. We believe that women in prison are entitled to a prison free of male offenders.
We believe in the importance of accurate data collection and record keeping. We believe that when a male is arrested, commits a crime or is imprisoned, he should be officially recorded as male.
However, this doesn’t always happen. Some males are included in the female data and are recorded as being female. The official guidelines state that a male with a GRC must be recorded as female when he enters prison. We also know that male criminals have had their convictions recorded in the female crime statistics as having been committed by women. Arrests are also known to be recorded by ‘self declared gender’ rather than biological sex.
What this means is that males and male crime are ‘hidden’ in the female data and statistics. This has serious implications for the accuracy of statistics and for service planning and development.
Clearly, males in prison may also be vulnerable and at risk of assault in the male estate. Vulnerable males may include: BAME males, old males, young males, disabled males, gay males, effeminate presenting males. All these male prisoners, as well as those who identify as women, have the right to be safe in prison. We believe that this is something the male estate should deal with. The solution is not to house them in women’s prisons. If male prisoners are unsafe or feel unsupported in a men’s prison, then the male estate needs to step up. Fortunately there are existing organisations campaigning for prison reform.
Our focus is on women.