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Corrections march seen as positive step

Thu 12 Feb 2015 In: New Zealand Daily News

Kelly Ellis of TransAdvocates A transgender rights campaigner who was integral in the charge for change in prisons is welcoming news Corrections will march in Auckland Pride Parade. “It's great to see Corrections joining the Parade,” says Kelly Ellis from TransAdvocates, who is also a lawyer who has represented a number of transgender clients. “It's extra hard for lgbti people in prison,” Ellis says. “Rainbow issues are something which Corrections has been addressing and a visible presence in the Parade can only improve the lives of prisoners.” Last February a new Corrections policy came into place, after strong advocacy from TransAdvocates, a stinging report from Equal Justice Project, and work from within Parliament by MPs like Jan Logie and Maryan Street. Transgender prisoners whose sex on their birth certificate has not been changed can apply to be moved into a prison with their identified gender – unless they are serving or facing charges for serious sexual offending. The Chief Executive of Corrections considers the applications on a case by case basis. Access to hormone replacement therapy, placement being contingent upon the Chief Executive’s discretion and work to ensure transgender prisoners are treated with dignity, respect and equality are concerns which remain.     

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Thursday, 12th February 2015 - 12:54pm

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