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Transgender prisoner policy start date unknown

in NEW ZEALAND, 05/10/2013

It's too early yet to say when a new policy of housing transgender prisoners according to the gender they identify with will come into effect, according to the Corrections Department. And Corrections has clarified that the new policy will also apply to intersex people.

Earlier this week Cabinet approved a much-awaited revised approach to the historical placement of prisoners in male or female prisons according to their birth sex and would only take into account a person's transgender status if they had undergone gender reassignment surgery.

"There are now a number of steps to follow including the making and gazetting of regulations," says Corrections' Director, Offender Health, Bronwyn Donaldson. "As such it is too early to say when the policy will come into effect."

Under the new regulations new and existing prisoners will be able apply at any time to the Corrections Chief Executive for placement in a prison "where they identify with the gender of that prison." If an application is unsuccessful, "transgender prisoners will be accommodated according to the sex recorded on their birth certificate." This will also apply to prisoners who have been granted a Family Court declaration amending their sex details, Donaldson says.

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