Non-transitioned inmates can apply for transfers to prisons according to gender identity
Rule change makes Barcelona's women's prison first to host transgender women who still appear as male on Civil Registry
For the past few weeks, Barcelona's Wad-Ras women's prison has housed the first transgender inmates who still appear on the Civil Registry as male.
A penitentiary order signed on Friday allows transgender people who have not transitioned to ask for a transfer to a prison or cell block for the gender they identify as.
The Wad-Ras women's prison in Barcelona is the first in Catalonia to host three inmates who were born male and whose ID cards state as much, although they feel they are women.
The justice department says the new order better acknowledges the rights of the inmates, who until now felt isolated in the cell blocks for males in which they were housed.
An upgrade on 2009
The order replaces a previous one from 2009 in which transgender inmates could apply for a transfer, but had more stringent requirements.
Those applicants were generally transferred to the Brians 2 prison, in Sant Esteve Sesrovires, which is considered a model in its handling of transgender inmates.
Today, there are 14 transgender people in Catalonia's prisons, all of them transgender women.
As well as the three inmates in Wad-Ras, two more who have transitioned and who are registered as female, are serving their sentences in the Women's Unit of the Brians 1 prison.
The new measure, says the justice department, is in response to those trans inmates who cannot or who do not want to transition and change their official status.
Transfer process simplified
Previously, inmates had to be of Spanish nationality who could present psychological reports accrediting that they had undergone a hormone therapy process for at least two years.
From now on, such transfers will depend on the reports of the prison, as well as on an evaluation carried out by the Classification Service of the justice department.
Taken into consideration will be the offense committed, the inmate's prison record, their motivation, and the risks or advantages to the inmate's safety after the transfer.