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Transgender Prisoners To Be Housed In Segregated Jail Unit

Female transgender prisoners will be housed separately for the first time, as the United Kingdom opens its first special wing for trans prisoners.

Three inmates who have transitioned from male to female will be sent to the brand new wing at HMP Downview -- a women's prison in south London -- this week.

The move, which will see the inmates not have access to other prisoners, is part of the UK's efforts to manage safety in jails.

A review was launched after a transgender woman sexually assaulted two inmates while housed in an all-female prison in Wakefield in 2017, before being moved to a male prison.

HMP Downview women's prison will be the first in the UK to have a transgender unit. IMAGE: Getty

"Prisoner safety is our biggest concern and any decisions we take will seek to best manage the risks posed by each offender," a Ministry of Justice spokesperson said.

"The wider management of transgender offenders is a highly sensitive issue which poses unique and complex challenges and we are determined to get it right," they continued.

The move is not expected to be rolled out across the UK.

IMAGE: Getty

In January, the United States moved a transgender inmate from a men's prison to a women's prison for the first time.

The transfer was hailed a victory for a growing number of advocates who had been piling pressure on prisons to house inmates according to their gender identity.

Most states typically assign inmates to prisons based on their anatomy, not gender identity.