Prisoners having sex changes will be allowed to wear padded bras and make-up to cover stubble growth, according to British government guidelines.
Instead of being forced to wear standard-issue grey tracksuits, inmates who are transvestites, have swapped sex or are undergoing sex-change treatment are to be permitted to purchase “gender appropriate” clothes from a home shopping catalogue.
Jail governors and warders who refuse to abide by Justice Secretary Ken Clarke’s new instructions could face legal action.
Mandatory guidelines on sex swap prisoners were circulated last month by the Ministry of Justice.
The 20-page document has been introduced to codify rights for prisoners.
The rulebook, which comes into effect on March 14, tells prison officers to take any questions on the policy to the Ministry of Justice’s dedicated “gender recognition policy team”.
The guidelines state: “An establishment must permit prisoners who consider themselves transsexual and wish to begin gender reassignment to live permanently in their acquired gender.
“Transsexual people, particularly those who have not undergone surgery or extended hormone therapy, may use various items to assist with their presentation in their acquired gender. These can range from sophisticated prostheses to padded bras.
“Regardless of their level of sophistication, access to them can only be restricted in exceptional circumstances.
“These items may only be prohibited when it can be demonstrated that they present a security risk which cannot be reasonably mitigated.”
The guidelines add: “Both male-to-female and female-to-male transsexual people may use make-up to present more convincingly in their acquired gender.
“Make-up that is vital to presenting in the acquired gender, such as foundation to cover up beard growth, may not be restricted.”
The document also warns prison staff that not permitting transsexual inmates to have the items could lead to court action.
It states: “Any restriction of these items could be subject to judicial review. If a prison decides to apply such restrictions, they must be able to provide a detailed and reasonable justification for doing so.”
Prisoners will be allowed to order clothes from the Argos Additions mail order catalogue - at their own expense - and have clothes provided to them by family members.
Prison staff are already required to address inmates by formal titles such as Mr, but the guide states they must now call transsexual prisoners Miss or Ms where appropriate.
The guidelines also instruct that previously-male inmates who are legally recognised as female are entitled to a place in a women’s prison. - Daily Mail