Photo credit: Gript

McEntee authorised violent biological male to be housed in women’s prison

Details released under Freedom of Information to the Irish Independent have shown that the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, signed off on a decision to house a transgender prisoner with women in March 2021.
Reporter Mark Tighe wrote that there had been consultations “between the [Irish Prison Service] and the most senior officials in the Department of Justice on the issue of transgender prisoners since at least 2020.”
The FOI revealed that in November 2020, Martin Smyth of the IPS wrote to the Department of Justice, to set out the rules on prisoners.

Mr Smyth said the 1914 legislation governing the transfer of prisoners was “gender neutral” so the minister was not restricted to moving a female prisoner from a female prison to another female prison.

He said the issue of accommodation was governed by a 2007 Statutory Instrument. He said this also did not require the separation of genders but “for obvious reasons of operational considerations and security” it was always the case that “both genders were separated”.

Mr Smyth said Rule 52 of the 2007 rules “specifically allows for the mixing of females and males in the prison context”.

It states: “Unless otherwise authorised by the minister, male and female prisoners shall be accommodated in separate areas to which prisoners of the opposite gender do not normally have access.”

Minister McEntee authorised the Rule 52 recommendation on March 10, 2021.
The subject of transgender prisoners being placed in women’s prisons has become a source of much controversy, in particular in relation to placing violent sex offenders with the female prison population.
Both of the high-profile transgender inmates in Limerick women’s prison are intact biological males, and both are violent, dangerous, sex offenders. 

One of the transgender prisoners has ten convictions for sexual assault including a conviction for sexually assaulting his step-son and threatening to break the child’s arms and legs.

Another is the infamous Barbie Kardashian, who was found guilty of seven counts of threatening to kill, rape, torture or cause serious harm to his mother.

The psychiatric reports on Kardashian made for “chilling and disturbing” reading, the judge at his sentencing said.

At a meeting with a social care manager, also attended by guardian ad litem, Kardashian said:

“If I got into (my mother’s) house I would run towards her and put the knife into her body and into her genitalia; the thing is, I would want to prolong my mum’s suffering for as long as possible”.

“I would stab her, but not in her heart or neck, I’d want to put her through lots of torture, fear and humiliation”.

“I would bring a screwdriver to insert inside her genitalia because I am a woman and women rape using objects; it would definitely be a long protracted incident, I would want her to bleed out after death after a number of hours, by putting objects into her vagina, pouring boiling water into that area.”

Kardashian, who has been diagnosed with several personality disorders, also said:

“I know that my mum is smaller than me, she is physically weak and she is frail, when I was living with her since I was nine or ten I was stronger than her then and I know she would be overpowered by me.”

“I would only walk away after she was dead. I would check her pulse to make sure she was dead, I wouldn’t want her to run out and shout ‘help’, ‘help’, ‘help’. I wouldn’t want to be caught by the Gardai, I think I would be caught because I do not feel that I could outsmart them.”

All five psychiatrists who assessed Kardashian and the background files to the case said that there was a “real danger”, he would carry out the fantasies to torture, rape and kill.

The court also noted that Kardashian has 15 previous convictions including one for sexual assault carried out when he was just 13 years of age and that these factors were of “enormous concern”.

The other transgender offender in the Irish prison system was jailed in 2021 after being found guilty of assault where the victim suffered a fractured skull and bleeding to the brain.

Last month, in response to a question from Gript’s Ben Scallan, an Taoiseach Mr Varadkar said he did not believe violent transgender prisoners should be housed with women prisoners.


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