Scottish Prison Service

This is a companion piece to a blog covering a survey of female prisoners with experience being held with trans-identifying males.

You can read my blog about that research here:

Female & ”Transgender” Inmates

In this blog I will look at the Scottish Prison Service guidance for the treatment of Transgender inmates.

The guidance was written in collaboration with the Scottish Trans Alliance and was endorsed by Stonewall.

You can read the full document here:


James Morton: Scottish Trans Alliance

The guidance was a collaboration with Trans Lobby group:Scottish Trans Alliance. The document references James Morton in the appendix. Here is what Morton had to say about the collaboration. {From the book Trans Britain by Christine Burns}. The decision to implement mixed sex spaces in the most challenging of environments was a strategic tactic. If they could persuade Prison’s to pilot this, on the most vulnerable women in our society, they could extend it to other single sex spaces. James even has the gall to use the word ”ethically” about this live experiment!

The document opens with a high minded statement about making sure the prison is free from homophobia and transphobia. The stated aim is to ensure everyone is treated with fairness and respect. Judge for yourself if any of this is fair to the women prisoners or the female staff.

Geneva Convention

The first thing that struck me is the claim that the guidance is evidence based. Their own research, which I covered in my previous blog, demonstrates they did NO research on the impact this would have on female prisoners. Even the, very biased, research project the SPS commissioned, showed 50% of the women had serious misgivings about the enforcement of, mixed sex, custodial facilities. It is worth noting that if these women were prisoners of war the Geneva Convention would protect these women. The Geneva convention repeatedly emphasises the need for women to be accommodated away from male prisoners. Here is article 25.

This principle is repeatedly emphasised to cover circumstances where women were subject to disciplinary proceedings

The Scottish Prison Service seems to be under the misapprehension that ”Gender Identity” is a legally protected characteristic. It is not. Gender Reassignment is the legally protected characteristic so is SEX. The Gender Recognition Act does not over-ride the legally protected characteristic of sex. Single sex spaces could be retained providing it is ”a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”.


The Scottish Prison service made an ideological decision to make custodial facilities mixed sex. As the policy is endorsed by Stonewall it is worth a reminder of Stonewall policy about single sex spaces. They campaigned to remove them!

Scottish Prison Policy

The SPS mandate pronoun use according to Gender Identity, not sex. Many of us may have been relaxed about maintaining a “polite fiction” prior to the onset of compelled speech. However, mandating pronouns signals an allegiance to an ideology that has had a deleterious impact on women’s rights and this has made me a pronoun refusenik.

Pronouns, however, are the least of my concerns re this policy. First of all, for the female staff, they are being forced to perform ”rub downs” and even full body searches according a self-declared ”Gender Identity” .

Staff are also told not to react discourteously when presented with a ”physical variation” they were not expecting. Such as, I imagine, a penis. 😳. The staff are taught to treat a surprise penis like a disability! Anyone raising any concerns should be dealt with by staff training or “re-educated”.

The document is keen to emphasise the fact that it is not a requirement of the Gender Recognition Act that any bodily modification have taken place; which is why we have the concept of the “female penis”.

Staff are instructed that prisoners should be located in the estate that matches their “Gender Identity”, not their sex and irrespective of their anatomy. Here is what they say about the male prisoners. Notice staff are told to discount the possibility there could be a nefarious motive for wishing to access the female estate. Furthermore the male is described as living as a ”woman” but the females having this policy imposed upon them are described as “people”.

The hypocrisy of the policy is exposed by the differential treatment meted out to females, who claim a male identity. This is not EQUAL treatment. A female with a trans-identity is to be given every consideration if they are fearful of sexual assault, in the male estate. A female in the female estate has NO voice in terms of forcible co-location with males.

The policy also makes a special mention of a category of ”non-reassigned trans people” which, we are told, includes the following groups:

The policy mandated that these groups should also be allowed certain items not traditionally associated with their ”Gender”. This can include a prosthetic penis or breasts.

The policy also makes it clear that information about someone’s ”Gender Identity ” should not be disclosed to other prisoners. In practice this means a female prisoner could be presented with an obvious male and the staff would not be able to confirm this. For those who have a Gender Recognition Certificate any disclosure would be treated as a crime.

It is also emphasised that a person who acquires a different gender identity on reaching the prison system should be accepted as the gender they now declare. There is also a rather sinister sentence about what questions the Prison Officer should ask following this disclosure:

All in all this policy is unfair to women. Its discriminatory and, frankly, a bit bonkers. How could a profession, dealing with people who have broken the law, endorse a policy that presumes people are who they say they are? Criminals lie. #JustSaying.

You can support my work here:


Research the harms of Gender Identity Ideology which has negative consequences for women’s rights, gay rights and children/teens undergoing unnecessary medical /surgical interventions.


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