TORONTO – Transgender inmates in Ontario will now be housed based on their gender identity, and not their physical sexual traits.
Correctional Services Minister Yasir Naqvi calls it the most progressive such policy in North America.
Naqvi says the new policy is about human rights and ensuring respect and dignity for all inmates.
Previously, inmates were put in institutions based on a person’s “primary sexual characteristics” and trans inmates were often put in segregation.
Now trans inmates will be placed in institutions based on their own identity, referred to by their preferred name and will be integrated into the general population whenever possible.
Ontario Human Rights commissioner Barbara Hall says the policy helps protect the rights of trans people, who face a higher risk of harassment and violence behind bars from other inmates and sometimes corrections staff.