The Governor of Scotland’s largest prison has said the system can deal with transgender prisoners “without any fuss or bother”. 

Michael Stoney, Governor of HMP Barlinnie, said that he did not “forsee any problems” and that the Scottish Prison Service had become used to dealing with transgender prisoners. 

The issue was thrown into the spotlight earlier this year when male-to-female rapist Isla Bryson, formerly known as Adam Graham, was jailed for eight years. 

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Bryson was initially housed in Cornton Vale Woman’s Prison, before being moved to Barlinnie, and then HMP Edinburgh.   

The Herald: Michael Stoney, governor of Barlinnie

Michael Stoney

Speaking about the issue in an exclusive interview with The Herald’s Kevin McKenna, Mr Stoney said: “We’ve been dealing with transgender prisoners for a while now and without any fuss or bother. I don’t foresee any real problems following this case either.” 

The prison boss also defended delayed plans to replace the notorious jail with a new facility in Glasgow, which is due to be completed by 2026.  

Mr Stoney said that a state-of-the art facility would help rehabilitate prisoners and cut rates of reoffending.  

Scotland has the second highest prison population rate in western Europe. 

Mr Stoney said: “On a simple cost basis, the benefits of cutting rates of re-offending are considerable. We need to be ambitious about this and target as much as a 20% reduction. 

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“The provision of a better physical environment for our staff to work closely with prisoners improves their mental health and that of their families, who are also suffering. This also has the potential to improve health outcomes in the Greater Glasgow area as a whole. 

“The new prison should be seen as a community asset which will provide spaces and facilities for community groups. There are multiple values for wider society in the new prison we’re building.”

Read the full interview in tomorrow's Herald and at