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Safety of women prisoners 'must not be compromised'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand First wants the Government to ensure that appropriate measures have been put in place to protect women prisoners when transgender prisoners are transferred out of male prisons into female prisons.

The Government announced in late September that changes will be made to ensure that transgender prisoners can be transferred out of male prisons if their birth certificates reflect their sex change.

Spokesperson for Corrections Asenati Lole-Taylor acknowledges that gender dysphoria is a serious condition, but safety measures will need to be put in place for the women in the prisons transgender prisoners will be transferred to.

"Some transgender prisoners may have masculine attributes and strength which could intimidate and pose risks to female prisoners.

"Having a transgender prisoner in a female prison could cause problems for not only themselves, but also the other prisoners and staff, if the situation is not handled appropriately.

"An option could be for unused space in prisons to be converted into rooms for transgender prisoners, or for new prisons to incorporate space specifically designed for transgendered prisoners.

"The highest priority is for all prisoners to be safe, so that they can focus on rehabilitation and getting their lives back on track," says Mrs Lole-Taylor.

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