I wish to advise the Deputy that on 2 September 2019 there was one prisoner known to the Irish Prison Service who was born male, but is now recognised as female under the Gender Recognition Act 2015, being detained in a female prison.
I can further advise the Deputy that there is one prisoner known to the Irish Prison Service who was born male but is now recognised as female under the Gender Recognition Act 2015 being detained in a female prison for an alleged sexual offence.
The Irish Prison Service must accept all prisoners into custody into whatever prison a Judge orders under the Consolidated Committal Order which was signed by the Minister for Justice and Equality in 2015.
Upon committal, all prisoners are brought to the reception/committal unit of the prison, where there is an opportunity to provide personal and physical details as part of the regular committal interview process. The assessment of the prisoner’s needs, may require the Prison Governor to consider the biological gender, legal gender, gender identity, transgender, gender expression, sexual orientation or gender recognition legislation.
In such cases the Governor may make a recommendation on the appropriate placement within the prison system, taking into consideration good order, security & operational issues, protection issues for both the prisoner and other prisoners, available accommodation and the healthcare needs of the prisoner.