I.10.07 Support Plan for Trans Prisoners

  1. A discussion with a newly received trans prisoner about their support and management must take place within three days of their reception and recorded on I.10.Form.02 Support Plan and Information for Trans Prisoners.
  2. Have this discussion even if they have been received in a prison which is the same as their gender identity.
  3. If a prisoner tells a staff member they are trans following reception, that staff member must immediately advise the prisoner’s Unit PCO who will complete the Support Plan with the prisoner within three days.
  4. The PCO must meet and discuss the plan with the prisoner, even if the prisoner refuses to engage in the discussion. A plan must be formulated on the basis of the information available and it should be noted if the prisoner did not want to engage.
  5. The PCO will draft the Support Plan. It must be signed by the trans prisoner and PCO prior to submission to the prison director. The prison director must approve the contents. If the prisoner refuses to sign the Support Plan their refusal must be witnessed by a staff member.
  6. The Support Plan must be signed by the prison director and effective within four days of the person’s reception in prison.
  7. Guidance to complete the Support Plan is provided in the table below.
    Considerations Policy and guidance
    Which unit and cell will the prisoner’s safety be best protected in?
    • Trans people must be placed in a cell on their own and not double-bunked with another prisoner. This may be overridden by the prison director if two trans people with the same gender identity choose to be placed in a shared cell. The prison director must consider the suitability of the two trans people to be placed in the same cell using the Shared Accommodation Risk Assessment (SACRA).
    • Trans people must have the same access to accommodation in a Self Care Unit as other prisoners. When housing a trans person in a Self Care Unit, consider and mitigate any safety issues as per normal Self Care Unit placement considerations.
    • If no in-cell shower facilities are available, consider and discuss how the trans person’s privacy will be protected while showering. For example, no other prisoner being permitted to use the shower space when the trans person is using it.
    • Consider and discuss how the trans person’s privacy will be protected to wash their personal items.
    How will safety issues caused by associating with other prisoners be managed?
    • Consider and discuss any risks to the trans person’s safety.
    • Avoid restricting trans people’s association with other prisoners where possible.
    • If there is reason to restrict or deny a trans prisoner’s association with other prisoners, normal segregation processes apply.
    • Avoid and mitigate the risk that measures put in place to protect a trans person, for example segregation, result in greater restrictions for the prisoner in terms of access to rehabilitation and reintegration activities. Consider and discuss how to protect the person’s safety without limiting their opportunities.
    What items does the prisoner need to maintain their gender identity?
    • Trans people in prison must have the ability to dress and appear in clothing and other items which fit their gender identity. Note that clothing can be prison issued clothing.
    • Consider and discuss the items the trans person used in the community to present as their gender identity. Trans prisoners must be provided with access to items required to maintain the appearance of their gender identity. These items may include:
      • chest binders (used by trans men)
      • prosthesis or stuffing material (used by trans men)
      • padded bras (used by trans women)
      • tape for tucking (used by trans women)
      • underwear designed for trans people
    • These items can only be withheld from the prisoner if the prison director determines that it is a risk to the safety and security of the prison or the prisoner. Attempts must be made to mitigate these risks as removal of these items could cause distress and place a trans person at risk. Consider and discuss how any risks could be mitigated.
    What personal searching and urine testing arrangement will best protect the prisoner’s dignity and privacy?
    • Discuss the searching processes with the trans person.
    • Ask the trans person about the gender of officer they are most comfortable searching and urine testing them.
    • The person’s selection of the gender of officer they want to search and conduct the urine test process with them must be followed.
    How will the prisoner’s safety be preserved during escorts and transfers?
    • Consider any risks to the trans person during an escort or transfer. For specific escorts and transfers normal risk assessment processes apply where the individual’s risks and vulnerabilities are considered.
    • Escort trans people in a single cell vehicle and, therefore, separate to other prisoners.
    • Trans prisoners may be escorted in a vehicle with other prisoners if the custodial system manager determines that it is safe and appropriate to do so in the circumstances. For example, trans prisoners must not be prohibited from reintegrative temporary removals (such as shopping trips from self care units) or guided releases which use pool cars for transport. The custodial systems manager must take the trans prisoner’s views about whether they would feel safe in the vehicle with other prisoners as part of this consideration.
    What support does the prisoner need from external organisations, whānau and friends?
    • Consider the support the trans person needs and wants while in prison, and discuss the support they had while in the community.
    • Follow normal visiting and communication to continue support previously received in the community.
    • Provide the trans person with details of support groups and individuals if requested.
    Is there anything else that should be put in place to provide the prisoner with support and to enhance their safety, dignity and privacy while in this prison?
    • Consider and discuss any other support the prisoner may need, and discuss any other concerns they may have.
    • Ask if they have any concerns about their safety, dignity and privacy while in prison that have not already been discussed.
    • Always note these discussions for reference by other staff.