Transgender Prisoners

The West Coast Prison Justice society has filed a human rights complaint against the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) on behalf of transgender prisoners.

CSC’s policies require prisoners to be placed in male or female prisons according to their genitals, rather than by gender identity. Both BC and Ontario corrections place prisoners according to gender, if that is the person’s preference. CSC’s policy means that vulnerable trans women are forced to live in men’s prisons where they are at constant risk of sexual assault.

CSC policy also puts trans prisoners at risk of suffering other dehumanizing forms of harassment and discrimination, including the risk of being forced to share a cell with someone of the opposite gender, being strip searched by officers of the opposite gender, or being referred to by the wrong name and inappropriate gender pronouns.

CSC’s policy also fails to conform to international standards for the provision of medically necessary surgery.

PLS made a presentation the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Community (SOGIC) forum regarding policy reform recommendations that, in our view, would be a step toward respecting the dignity of transgender prisoners in federal custody. Click here to view our proposed changes to Commissioner’s Directive 850: “Transgender Inmates”.

Please contact us if you would like more information about our recommended changes to CSC transgender policy.