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Issues experienced by the transgender prison population are gradually receiving more attention in the UK. The recent suicides of two transgender women in prison in England has prompted a review of the Ministry of Justice guidance, which has very recently been published. This literature review reveals a distinct dearth of research concerning transgender people in prison and the review largely draws on research conducted in the USA. The paper has highlighted key issues that transgender people in prison experience: placement in the prison establishment; victimisation and management; and healthcare provisions. Future recommendations for research include: an examination of relevant prison policies in order to identify areas of good practice; and qualitative research with prison staff and transgender people in prison to further explore the nature of good practice, as well as examining the barriers to overcoming the identified issues. Without future research in the UK, transgender people will remain an ‘invisible’ prison population.


  • Transgender, prison population, literature review
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-22
JournalPrison Service Journal
Issue number233
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017

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