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Downview Prison

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 48330, tabled on 13 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 13 July 2021 to Question 29877, Downview Prison, and with reference to the evidence quoted in the judgment in R (FDJ) v the Secretary of State of 2 July 2021 that biologically female prisoners have been allocated to HMP Downview’s E Wing alongside biologically male transgender prisoners, what the circumstances are under which a biologically female prisoner may be considered for placement on E Wing.

Answered on

16 September 2021

HMP Downview’s E Wing currently provides separate accommodation in the women’s estate specifically for transgender women with Gender Recognition Certificates (GRC) who pose, or face, too high a risk to be located in the general women’s population. Decisions on allocation of this nature can only be made via a Complex Case Board, chaired by a senior prison manager, as detailed in ‘The Care and Management of Individuals who are Transgender’ policy framework

It is not Ministry of Justice and HM Prison & Probation Service (HMPPS) policy to place women on E Wing who do not hold a GRC. In exceptional circumstances, such as those seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, it remains open to HMPPS to utilise accommodation differently where it is considered operationally necessary. However, any women placed on E Wing in such circumstances would always be held separately from others on the unit.

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