President-elect Joe Biden has said that “in prison, your sexual identity is defined by what you say, not what the prison says.” I wonder what he would make of the “trans woman jailed for 15 years for rape that still gives victim nightmares,” as recently reported by Metro. The 49-year-old man, who “identifies as female but has male anatomy,” brutalized and violated his victim in a way no woman could have.
The U.K.’s Ministry of Justice (MoJ) reviewed its transgender prison policy after a male sex offender with an intact penis, Karen White, was put in a women’s prison, in accordance with his “gender identity,” whereupon he sexually assaulted two female prisoners. The MoJ confirmed by Freedom of Information requests that 60 of the 125 transgender prisoners known to be in English and Welsh prisons are convicted sex offenders. In all likelihood, this number is higher since, as the women’s rights group Fair Play for Women has observed, it does not take account of “short sentences, people with a Gender Recognition certificate or people who do not declare they are trans.”
Sex offending is overwhelming committed by males. There are 13,000 male sex offenders in prison compared to about 100 women. Almost 20% of male prisoners have committed sex offences. Our figures suggest that sex offending rates amongst trans prisoners is at least comparable to male rates.
The MoJ was unable to say conclusively how many male prisoners are already in female prisons. This is not a problem Biden should want to replicate in America.