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UK prison service ends policy of housing transgender prisoners in all-female prisons

The HM Prison Service in the United Kingdom has ended the controversial policy of housing male-to-female (MtF) transgenders in all-female prisons.

The new policy calls for MtF prisoners to be housed in separate wings over concerns for the safety of genetic female prisoners.

The policy change was enacted shortly after public uproar over the case of Karen White, a MtF prisoner and registered sex offender, who sexually assaulted female inmates after he was transferred to an all-female prison.

White was sentenced to life in prison for rape. The 52-year-old legal male, who was born Stephen Wood, was initially moved to an all-female prison after he claimed to identify as a woman.

Prosecutors say White used a “transgender persona” to gain access to vulnerable females.
According to The Times newspaper, justice minister Ed Argar confirmed that the government “revised” a previous guideline that called for MtF prisoners to “experience the [prison] system in the gender in which they identify.”

In a statement announcing the new policy change, Argar said, “We take the Karen White case very seriously.”

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