CERTIFICATES of gender recognition will not give transgender prisoners the right to choose whether they are sent to male or female jails, the Justice Secretary has said.

The Scottish Government plans to make it easier for trans people to legally change their gender, but Humza Yousaf emphasised that it would not have an impact on prisoner accommodation.

The proposed changes would enable trans people to get a gender recognition certificate through self-declaration after six months, rather than requiring medical evidence and a two-year period of living as that gender under the current rules.

At Holyrood, the Justice Secretary was asked by Labour MSP Johann Lamont about prison staff who are apparently concerned about the impact the changes could have on female inmates “who are among the most vulnerable in our society”.

Yousaf said: “Acquiring a gender recognition certificate does not and will not give a prisoner any new legal rights regarding the decisions made by the Scottish Prison Service about their accommodation.

“Decisions as to the most appropriate location to accommodate transgender people are made on an individualised basis after careful consideration of all relevant factors – including risk. Such decisions seek to protect both the wellbeing and rights of the individual, but also crucially the welfare and rights of others including staff and of course other inmates.”

However, Yousaf revealed the Scottish Prison Service will review its gender identity and gender reassignment policy, which covers all aspects of a transitioning person’s journey.