Correctional policies for the management of trans people in Australian prisons

Charlie Winter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
54 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Despite existing international standards for the prison management of incarcerated trans people, carceral policies across Australian jurisdictions vary in their availability, breadth, and appropriateness. Trans populations in prison represent a vulnerable population, having specific needs surrounding their health, safety, and wellbeing. Prior reviews into Australian carceral policies highlight where contemporary prison practices fall short of meeting those specific needs.

Aims/method: A review was conducted on the available carceral policy documents of each Australian correctional service regime, examining their coverage of issues including healthcare access, placement decisions, and classification systems against international standards and prior Australian recommendations. Forty-one relevant policy documents were reviewed against eighteen benchmark recommendations, along with supplementary data.

Results: Australian jurisdictions varied widely on the coverage of the reviewed areas. Benchmark attainment ranged from twelve out of eighteen (Victoria and Western Australia) to three out of eighteen (Queensland). The use of administrative segregation was identified as the area in most need of policy reform. No jurisdiction met every benchmark.

Conclusions: This review highlights the need for carceral policy reform across Australian jurisdictions in order to meet the unique needs of incarcerated trans people, especially in the areas of administrative segregation and healthcare access. The review also highlights the need for carceral policy reform to bring Australian jurisdictions in line with each other on the management of incarcerated trans people, to reduce disparate outcomes across states and territories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-148
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Transgender Health
Issue number2
Early online date14 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Australia
  • correctional policies
  • imprisonment
  • policy review
  • prison
  • trans


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