Nine inmates in the same jail want sex change operations
Nine male prisoners held in the same UK jail are planning to have a sex change.
The inmates at the Isle of Wight already dress in female clothing, including underwear, while being allowed to spend €35 per week on beauty products.
The prisoners take part in a programme called Transgender Pathway to prepare them for their new lives as women.
Offenders must pass rigorous psychological tests to show their genuine desire to change sex and to prove they are not seeking special treatment.
A source said: "This is not just for guys who fancy wandering around in a skirt but want to stay as a man.
"It is for those who feel they are a female trapped in a man’s body and want to have the surgery to make that change happen.
"The Prison Service has guidelines so they can live as women as far as is allowable under the conditions.
"They have the same rights in that respect, as members of the public. The public may think they lost their right to be treated with kid gloves when they stepped through the prison gates."
These prisoners intend to seek gender realignment surgery and hormone treatments for a sex change on the NHS, which costs between €13,000 and €18,000.
A UK Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "Prisoners receive the same NHS service as the public. Any person applying to be on the pathway is assessed by a range of healthcare professionals, regardless of whether they are in prison or not."
A report by prison monitors has warned that staff need more training to deal with sex change issues in jail. It stated: "A disproportionate amount of time is being spent on transgender issues due to the lack of understanding on these."
Convicts who have a sex change can be later transferred to a women’s prison.
Last year, transgender Tara Hudson, 26, was moved from all-male Bristol jail to female Eastwood Park, Gloucester, after 140,000 people signed a petition supporting her.
A review of sex change inmates was launched after two died in male prisons last November.