The British Association of Gender Identity Specialists states they are aware of prisoners, especially sex offenders, pretending to be trans:
“There is an ever-increasing tide of referrals of patients in prison serving long or indeterminate sentences for serious sexual offences. These vastly outnumber the number of prisoners incarcerated for more ordinary, non-sexual, offences. It has been rather naïvely suggested that nobody would seek to pretend transsexual status in prison if this were not actually the case. There are, to those of us who actually interview the prisoners, in fact very many reasons why people might pretend this. These vary from the opportunity to have trips out of prison through to a desire for a transfer to the female estate (to the same prison as a co-defendant) through to the idea that a parole board will perceive somebody who is female as being less dangerous through to a [false] belief that hormone treatment will actually render one less dangerous through to wanting a special or protected status within the prison system and even (in one very well evidenced case that a highly concerned Prison Governor brought particularly to my attention) a plethora of prison intelligence information suggesting that the driving force was a desire to make subsequent sexual offending very much easier, females being generally perceived as low risk in this regard.”
The British Psychological Society confirms this:
“Psychologists working with forensic patients are aware of a number of cases where men convicted of sex crimes have falsely claimed to be transgender females for a number of reasons:
- As a means of demonstrating reduced risk and so gaining parole;
- As a means of explaining their sex offending aside from sexual gratification (e.g. wanting to ‘examine’ young females);
- Or as a means of separating their sex offending self (male) from their future self (female).
- In rare cases it has been thought that the person is seeking better access to females and young children through presenting in an apparently female way.
“Such strategies in no way affect risk an indeed may increase it. Some people falsely believe that taking oestrogen and blocking androgen in males will reduce risk of offending, however this is not necessarily the case.
“Consequently the Society recommends that the Government give appropriate assistance to transgender people within the criminal justice system; while being extremely cautious of setting law and policy such that some of the most dangerous people in society have greater latitude to offend.”
Some of these people might want to be trans, especially to separate a past self from a future self. I wonder if any of them have been misdiagnosed, as I was by one specialist.
It is not a problem of trans people, but of criminals, who may try anything for rational or cock-eyed motives. It is not a ground for treating trans people with suspicion. So if a prisoner has transitioned before the charge, and especially before the crime, they should be placed in the correct gender prison. Trans women may find cis women there violent towards them, though: I feel the trans woman is at least as likely to be a victim as cis prisoners. And prisoners who announce they are trans should receive a diagnosis quickly. It needs to be as clear as possible which prison they should be in.
BAGIS also notes trans people may be charged with offences where cis people would not:
“Many of us can remember patients who were charged with crimes, convicted and who ended up on the sex offenders register when we thought that the same thing wouldn’t have happened if they weren’t a trans person. A good example would be the transwoman charged with sexual assault after some brief fellatio with two males who were two and three years younger than her own age at the time (she was eighteen). They were visitors to the area and boasted to their cousin of their recent sexual encounter. The cousin, enlightening them as to the nature of the person they had had a sexual encounter with, caused them to feel embarrassed. One thing led to another and the patient was charged with sexual assault. Given that she was in a kneeling position at the time and that it would have been perfectly possible for either one of the males concerned to run away this seemed a bit implausible. In the end, she was convicted of being reckless as regard to age. This does place her on the sex offenders register, though. One suspects that she would never have been charged at all if she had been a born female.”