Protesters demand removal of biological male inmates from women’s prisons


A crowd of approximately 75 gathered outside the Fraser Valley Institution for Women in Abbotsford, BC on Saturday afternoon to demand the removal of biological male inmates from women’s prisons. Among the attendees were women’s rights advocates, former inmates and other members of the public. “Males don’t belong here” and “gender self-ID hurts women” were some of the phrases written on the protesters’ signs. According to Heather Mason, a prisoner’s rights advocate with Canadian Women’s Sex-Based Rights, there are five males claiming to be transgender housed at the Fraser Valley Institution for Women, out of a total 92 inmates. One such male inmate is 39-year old Tara Desousa (Adam Laboucan), who is incarcerated for raping a three-month old infant boy. The baby boy required serious reconstructive surgery, and now Desousa resides at a prison that runs a mother-child program. In 2017, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) changed its gender identity policy to allow convicted male criminals to be transferred to women’s prisons if they self-identify as transgender.

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