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Transgender inmates 'at risk' - Greens

Friday 5 Jul 2013 5:14 p.m.



The Green Party are calling for urgent action to protect transgender prisoners.

A report investigating transgender prisoners’ rights by the Equal Justice Project found the Department of Corrections policies are discriminatory toward transgender inmates, leaving them at great risk of rape and sexual assault and unprotected from violence whilst in state care.

Greens Rainbow spokesperson Jan Logie says the Minister of Corrections needs to take action to help the current situation.

She says it's the obligation of the Government to ensure their safety from the risk of sexual assault and rape. 

“The Ombudsman released a report on this issue in February 2012. That’s almost 18 months ago, and yet every day transgendered prisoners are living at huge risk of violence all while under the care of our Government.

Ms Logie says she has brought the issue up with Corrections Minister Anne Tolley repeatedly, who has shifted from denying there is a problem to saying the Government is reviewing the policy.

"The state’s duty of care really requires more urgent action when trans-prisoner’s protection from abuse is at stake," she says.

 “Transgendered women don’t deserve to be put at risk of sexual assault while under our care just because their anatomy doesn’t match their gender.

“The Minister has claimed that the issue is complicated, and it is, but we aren’t talking huge numbers of people here. We are talking about a few people who have been put absolutely at huge risk because of this Government’s lack of will to protect them.

Ms Logie welcomed the Minister's "change of heart", but says action is needed now.

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