SPS review of Gender Identity and Gender Reassignment Policy (2014)

In late 2019, SPS made a commitment to review the Gender Identity and Gender Reassignment Policy (2014) in response to concerns raised, especially around potential implications for the safety and wellbeing of people in our care.  While the policy process was paused due to COVID19 pressures at that time, SPS commenced detailed preparatory work for the policy review earlier this year.  Progress can be summarised as follows:


  • We have looked at how prisons place and manage transgender people in other jurisdictions  
  • We are developing arrangements for improving and publishing Management Information (Mi), consistent with recent guidance from the Chief Statistician and our obligations as a public body
  • We have developed methodology for engagement with stakeholders and service users


The engagement phase of the review will commence shortly, to include:


  1. engagement with prisons staff who have experience of working with transgender people in Scotland’s prisons, commencing December 2021
  2. a series of interviews with transgender men and transgender women in prison, commencing January 2022
  3. a survey of men and women living in custody across establishments in Scotland, commencing February 2022
  4. one to one discussions with over 30 cross sector stakeholders throughout February, March, April and May 2022, including organisations representing communities of interest and identity


The policy process and Equalities and Human Rights Impact Assessment (EHRIA) will be done simultaneously and this process supersedes initial work carried out in 2019.  Analysis of evidence gathered from service users and stakeholders will take place in Summer 2022 with a view to publication of updated SPS policy for the placement and management of transgender people thereafter.  These timelines are contingent on the engagement process.