TWO high-profile criminal cases have sparked outrage in Scotland in the aftermath of the SNP's attempted transgender law reforms. 

One featured a double rapist who now identifies as a woman being held in segregation at a woman's prison near Stirling and another involved a dangerous prisoner who stalked a child and who requested a move to a female jail. 

But what are the facts on who gets sent to which prisons in the UK? 

In Scotland

In the wake of the furore over the Isla Bryson case, Justice Secretary Keith Brown announced no transgender prisoners would be moved to a female prison in Scotland while the prison service conducted a review of its policies around the practice.

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He later said it was his belief no trans women housed in male prisons had been convicted of violence against women.

Bryson is currently imprisoned at HMP Edinburgh, a men’s jail. Tiffany Scott, who was convicted of stalking a 13-year-old girl while living as a man called Andrew Burns, has applied to be moved from HMP Low Moss to a woman’s prison. Brown said no decision had been taken on Scott’s case as yet – despite The Scottish Sun reporting the request had been blocked.

Figures reported by the BBC from the Scottish Prison Service, showed there were 15 transgender prisoners in the country. Of these, one trans man was held in a male prison while three were held in a women’s prison. There were six trans women in men’s prisons and five living in women’s prisons, the data showed.

In England and Wales

Under reforms trailed in October and finalised last week, the UK Justice Secretary announced a new policy framework which would ban all transgender women prisoners from women’s prisons if they have either intact male genitals or if they have been convicted of a sex crime.

The new rules – which have not yet been introduced – ministers will have discretion as to where trans women are imprisoned on the above criteria.

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The announcement said there would be room for exceptions but only in the “most truly exceptional cases”.

According to the Ministry of Justice, 90% of trans women in prison in England and Wales are held in male prisons and “most do not request a move to a women’s prison”.

The department said that trans women without a gender recognition certificate – i.e. those whose birth certificates read “male” – are initially sent to men’s prisons “as a matter of course”.

Trans women currently in women’s prisons will face a “thorough assessment” before ministers decide whether they should remain there, the announcement added. This will include an assessment of the risks to themselves and others.