Human rights and discrimination
Going to prison
If you are trans and going to prison, prison staff must meet with you to discuss how to best support your needs. This meeting must happen within three days of you arriving.
If prison staff have access to your birth certificate, they will place you in a prison that matches the sex on your birth certificate. If this isn’t right, you can request to be moved to a prison that better suits your gender or sex (see below).
If you have a sex marker on your birth certificate that isn’t M or F, the prison will automatically review your placement. You don’t need to put in a formal request for this.
For more information, see: “Transgender and non-binary people”.
How do I request to be in the right prison for my gender or sex?
If the sex marker on your birth certificate isn’t right, you can request to be moved to the right prison for your gender or sex.
If you make this request, you should be given an “Application for review of prisoner’s placement” form to complete.
If you need help filling out the form, you should ask the prison staff for assistance. The Prisons Operations Manual states that the staff have to help if you need support filling out the form.
The prison director will consider your request and approve or deny it. If you aren’t happy with the decision, you can lodge a complaint with the Inspector or the Ombudsman. The prison should provide you with details of how to do this.
If you have convictions for sexual offences, you can’t request to be transferred to a prison for the sex you were convicted of offending against.
What if I’m non-binary or intersex?
If you have a sex marker on your birth certificate that isn’t M or F, your placement will automatically be reviewed.
This will happen whether or not you have been convicted of sexual offences.
If you’re non-binary or intersex but your birth certificate doesn’t show this, you can still ask for a review. The Prison Operations Manual says that “A person’s ability to identify with a particular gender, or no gender, must be respected.”
What if I requested to change prisons, but I want to change back?
Just as you have the right to request to change your prison placement, you can request to change back or change again if you find that placement in your requested prison is less safe for you.
What are my rights to gender-affirming healthcare in prison?
If you’re in prison, you should have the same access to healthcare as people who aren’t in prison.
You should be able to access hormones and other gender-affirming care as usual. If you’re on a waitlist for surgery, being in prison and transferring between prisons can disrupt this process, as your contact details and location will change. If you’re in prison and on a surgery waitlist, make sure your healthcare provider is updated with your placement, so they can continue to support you through the process. For more information, see: “Gender-affirming healthcare”.