Non-Binary Prison, Scotland


The Scottish government is considering building a new prison to hold people of non-binary gender. As part of our new prisons research project, Corporate Watch considers the plans in the context of the general expansion of Scotland’s prison industrial complex and the experience of incarcerated trans people around the world.

Reference to the prison was found in a consultation document released as part of the Scottish Government’s review of the Gender Recognition Act. The consultation closes on 1 March 2018.

Part Seven of the report, focused on non-binary people, considers how “Increasing the protections against discrimination on the basis of a person’s gender identity and the introduction of a new legal sex for people with a non-binary gender identity would have financial impacts for business and service providers, including in the public sector.”

Among these “financial impacts” is the Scottish Prison Service’s estimation that the cost of a new small prison unit for 20-30 people might be between £8.7 million and £10.7 million. Also considered are the costs of changing toilets and changing rooms, and the gendered allocation of NHS beds in certain wards.

The prison service has since said the £11 million tally is “the cost of acquiring a site and building the unit.” This does not include annual running costs, which could top £1 million.

To read more about the project and trends of incarcerating trans people visit: