Italy is opening its first prison specially for transgender inmates. The building, in Empoli, Tuscany, is a former halfway house for women and will open in March.
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.