Transgenderism and policy capture in the criminal justice system
Why criminal justice policy needs to prioritise sex over ‘gender identity’
This report addresses the impact of policies and practices within the criminal justice system in England and Wales which classify and treat suspects, defendants in criminal trials, and convicted offenders on the basis of their ‘gender identity’ rather than their biological sex. In recent years, self-declaration of ‘gender identity’ has been adopted as policy by all of the key criminal justice institutions, despite the fact that this is not aligned with the law. This change appears to have come about largely as the result of policy capture, as it is a widely contested belief and has been adopted without public scrutiny. Current criminal justice policy prioritises the wishes and feelings of those who identify as transgender over the rights of others, and particularly over the sex-based rights of women, such as rights to single-sex facilities. This publication examines the detrimental effects of this approach and makes recommendations about the development of policies which are based on acknowledgment of the significance of biological sex in the field of criminal justice.