New prison regulations in the United Kingdom will potentially enable judges to give female inmates more time in prison for “misgendering” transgender inmates.
Justice Minister Simon Wolfson announced that inmates could see their sentences extended for declining to identify trans inmates by their preferred gender. Britain is one of the few countries, along with the United States, to imprison transgender convicts with inmates of their chosen gender. This policy has led to sexual assaults and beatings, with some male inmates seeking a way out of a men’s prison through declaring themselves transgender.
So-called ‘lord’ Wolfson had announced that inmates who refer to trans inmates by their biological gender will be punished under rules barring “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour” in British prisons, with prison authorities given license to suspend parole or even increase their sentences for violations. Cases of misgendering will be evaluated on a case by case basis, with exceptions seemingly provided to prisoners who didn’t know any better. The British court system had rejected a legal challenge this summer to bar inmates convicted of violent or sex offenses from being housed with female inmates.