New transgender guidelines come into force

Corrections has developed a new policy and guidelines to enhance the management of prisoners who identify as transgender.

Rolled out in early March, the new guidelines enable trans* people to maintain their gender identity while in prison. Each trans prisoner has an individualised support plan.

“We are committed to preserving trans prisoners’ safety, dignity and privacy while in our care,” says Chief Custodial Officer Neil Beales.

“When putting the guidelines into effect, we received input from members of the trans community to provide expertise into the training package we developed for staff. Training includes education and information about trans people, and the new guidance and expectations for the management of trans prisoners.”

The guidelines bring New Zealand into line with international best practice and with NZ Police and Customs.

In parallel to the guidelines for trans prisoners, Community Corrections staff have recently commenced trans and diversity training to manage people released from prison and/or serving a community sentence.

Transgender prisoners who are eligible under the criteria may apply to be placed in a prison where they identify with the gender of the prisoners managed there. Currently, there are 24 people in prison who identify as trans.

*In line with international best practice, Corrections’ guidelines use the word “trans” to reflect the diverse nature of the trans, genderqueer and gender non-conforming community.