Trans­gen­der jail may cost up to £11m

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By Gra­ham Grant Home Af­fairs Editor

A NEW prison for trans­gen­der inmates could be built, cost­ing up to £10.7mil­lion, un­der Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment plans.

The cost of con­struct­ing a unit to house inmates who do not iden­tify as male or fe­male emerged in a Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment doc­u­ment.

It re­vealed that the Scot­tish Prison Ser­vice (SPS) was asked to price the scheme for 20 to 30 con­victs and came up with a fig­ure of £8.7mil­lion-£10.7mil­lion.

But min­is­ters have been ac­cused of get­ting their pri­or­i­ties wrong. Scot­tish Tory jus­tice spokesman Liam Kerr said: ‘There may be a tiny mi­nor­ity of cases where a non-bi­nary gen­der in­di­vid­ual could be catered for. But to spend this is out­ra­geous and will inevitably be ridiculed by the pub­lic.

‘The hard-pressed prisons sys­tem has many costly pri­or­i­ties, in­clud­ing ap­pro­pri­ate treat­ment, fa­cil­i­ties and proper staff pro­tec­tion.

‘The guts of £11mil­lion for a new prison for those of non­bi­nary gen­der iden­tity isn’t one of them.’

Prison sources fear inmates could claim to be gen­derneu­tral to seek a trans­fer.

Si­mon Calvert of cam­paign group the Chris­tian In­sti­tute said: ‘Gen­der-con­fused peo­ple de­serve our com­pas­sion. What they’re not en­ti­tled to, and prob­a­bly aren’t even asking for, is their own na­tional in­fra­struc­ture at tax­pay­ers’ ex­pense.

‘What next? Schools? Non­bi­nary shop­ping precincts? Non-bi­nary traf­fic lanes?’

Dr Stu­art Waiton, a se­nior so­ci­ol­ogy lec­turer at Aber­tay Univer­sity in Dundee, called the pro­posal ‘yet an­other ex­am­ple of a po­lit­i­cal class act­ing in a man­ner that seems at odds to or­di­nary peo­ple’.

He added: ‘To re­or­gan­ise the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem around it at con­sid­er­able ex­pense is ir­ra­tional.’

The de­tails emerged in a 182-page con­sul­ta­tion docuen­dorsed ment on an over­haul of gen­der recog­ni­tion laws.

The SPS said of the £11mil­lion tally: ‘That is the cost of ac­quir­ing a site and build­ing the unit.’ It did not in­clude an­nual run­ning costs, which could top £1mil­lion.

The Mail re­vealed on Satur­day that schools have been told to al­low trans­gen­der pupils to use any toi­let or chang­ing room they wish – and to ed­u­cate any com­plain­ing par­ents about their ‘mis­con­cep­tions’.

Guid­ance is­sued to schools to make them more ‘in­clu­sive’ says trans­gen­der chil­dren should be able to share rooms on school trips with oth­ers who share their gen­der iden­tity – and there is ‘no rea­son’ to in­form par­ents. Pupils who feel ‘un­com­fort­able’ about shar­ing fa­cil­i­ties should be sent to other toi­lets or get changed after­wards.

The guid­ance, pub­lished by LGBT Youth Scot­land, is by the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment and 16 lo­cal au­thor­i­ties. But par­ents’ groups are an­gry such pupils will have ‘priv­i­leges’ over oth­ers.

Mean­while, uni­ver­si­ties are al­low­ing stu­dents and staff who do not iden­tify as ei­ther a man or woman to call them­selves ‘Mx’ rather than Mr, Miss or Ms.

The pol­icy is de­signed to counter al­le­ga­tions of dis­crim­i­na­tion from trans­sex­u­als and is spread­ing in the higher ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor.

Glas­gow Univer­sity has an­nounced its ‘gen­der and sex­ual diversity cham­pion’ is be­hind the move to in­tro­duce the ti­tle ‘Mx’, say­ing: ‘The ad­di­tion of this op­tion will al­low staff who iden­tify as “non-bi­nary” to make a pos­i­tive choice rather than be­ing lim­ited to ti­tles which do not ac­cu­rately re­flect their iden­tity.’

‘To spend this is out­ra­geous’ ‘Ridiculed by the pub­lic’

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