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Daily Record
Daily Record
Chris McCall

Nicola Sturgeon insists review of transgender prisoners in women's jails will provide 'clarity'

Nicola Sturgeon has insisted the decision to halt the transfer of transgender prisoners with a history of violence against women was taken to provide "clarity".

The Scottish Government has come under fire for the past week after double rapist Isla Bryson was sent to Cornton Vale after being convicted.

The Record then revealed how Tiffany Scott – who was convicted of stalking a 13-year-old girl – was set to be moved to the female estate.

Justice secretary Keith Brown last night announced a halt to trans prisoners being transferred within the prison estate until a review by jail bosses was completed.

Speaking today, the First Minister said: "The arrangements for dealing with transgender prisoners hasn’t changed, they’ve been in place for some time. There has never been an automatic right for a trans woman to serve their sentence in a female prison.

"These decisions are subject to rigorous and robust risk assessment."

She added: "The cases that have been in the media in recent days, those risk assessments were under way.

"There is no reason to assume that the outcome in both of those cases would not have been that they should be in a man’s prison.

"But given the focus and given the concerns that have been posed as a result of the focus on these cases, what we have done is bring absolute clarity to that."

The First Minister also stressed the importance of not "stigmatising" the wider transgender community in a debate about the safeguarding of women in prisons.

"We must never lose sight of the fact that trans people, just like the population as a whole, the vast majority never commit any crimes,” she said.

"Trans women don’t pose an inherent threat to women – it’s abusive and predatory men that do that.

"In any group in society there will be a small number of people who commit crime and do other bad things and that’s what we need to deal with and we must always take care not to stigmatise the broader group."

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