Arrest/Detention – National

On December 27, 2017, Correctional Service Canada announced that it was in the process of reviewing policies pertaining to transgender inmates. The announcement comes several months after the passage of Bill C-16, which amended the Canadian Human Rights Act to include protections on the basis of gender identity or expression. Some of the interim changes, where there are no overriding health or safety concerns, include placing inmates in facilities that correspond with their gender identity or expression, allowing transgender inmates to choose whether they are strip searched or frisked by a male or female, as well as requiring corrections officers to use the individuals preferred name and pronouns in written and oral communications.

Additionally, the interim policy emphasizes the importance of confidentiality and privacy in relation to an inmate’s gender identity. The information will only be shared on a need-to-know basis.

Guidelines 800-5 were also revoked, removing the need for permission from the Assistant Commissioner, Health Services, to make exemptions for the transfer or placement of transgender inmates.

Finally, the CSC stated in the interim policy that future/updated policy documents, communications, and offender programs will move away from binary language to gender-inclusive language.

In Ontario, these rules are slightly different; see Ontario laws.

Source(s): Correctional Service Canada – Interim Policy Bulletin 584.