Correctional Service flip-flops on transgender inmate placement policy – Politics – CBC News
2017/01/16 Leave a comment
That was a fast reversal. Town halls may prove more substantive in terms of policy development:
Canada’s prison service has abruptly reversed course on its new policy for transgender inmates, one day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to promote equality for all trans Canadians, including those behind bars.
Correctional Service Canada spokesman Jean-Paul Surette said trans inmates will now be considered for placement in prisons based on their gender identity rather than their genitalia.
“We are currently assessing — on a case-by-case basis — individual inmates’ placement and accommodation requests to ensure the most appropriate measures are taken to respect the dignity, rights and security of all inmates under our custody,” he told CBC News in an email.
That is a sharp departure from CSC’s revised policy directive on trans inmates that was released on Monday, which confirmed a previous rule that based placement on birth sex rather than gender identity.
“Pre-operative male to female offenders with gender dysphoria will be held in men’s institutions and pre-operative female to male offenders with gender dysphoria will be held in women’s institutions,” the Jan. 9 policy reads.
The change in course comes after Trudeau, during a town hall meeting in Kingston, Ont., made an off-the-cuff promise to ensure transgender inmates can serve their sentences in institutions based on their gender identity.
The pledge came in response to a question from a transgender woman and advocate who described Canada’s current placement policy as “torture.”
Trudeau said the issue hadn’t been on his radar, but would act now that it is.
“I will make sure we look at it and we address it and we do right in recognizing that trans rights are human rights and we need to make sure we are defending everyone’s dignity and rights in every way we can,” he said.