Italy Opening World's First Prison For Transgender Inmates
Italy is opening world's first prison for transgender inmates. The prison, at Pozzale, located near the Tuscan city of Florence, will house approximately 30 transgendered inmates, and is scheduled to open in March of this year.
The prison will house 30 inmates who are currently being held in a special section of a prison outside Florence.
Trans prisoners, particularly those transitioning from male to female, can have their treatment postponed while in prison. In America there have been cases of prisoners taking legal action after being refused hair removal treatment or state-funded surgery.
Authorities are reluctant to house them in women’s prisons and they often have to be housed separately in men’s prisons.
Maria Pia Giuffrida, a detention administration official, told news agency Sapa that trans prisoners are often punished for their gender status along with their crimes.
“It’s a question of dignity,” she said.
Leading gay rights groups say they welcome the new prison as a dedicated space providing the psychological support transgender prisoners need.
However, one local council official has said she cannot understand why the Pozzale prison had remained almost empty for so long.
"There are at least 30 to 40 women held in nearby prisons who would be ready to be transferred to a medium-security centre such as Pozzale. But very restrictive entry requirements were imposed," Franco Corleone told Italian news agency Adnkronos.
According to Italian newspaper Il Giornale, the prison only has two inmates at present but has a staff of 22 people.
The prison has its own library, recreation centre, football pitch and agricultural land which produces olive oil and wine.
Inmates also have their own cell and are given a personal development plan.