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post-op trans women would be placed in women's prisons), regardless of their current appearance or gender identity.

Transgender women with breasts may be locked up with men, leaving them vulnerable to violence and sexual assault, as occurred with the case of Dee Farmer, a pre-operative transgender woman with breast implants, who was raped and contracted HIV when she was housed in a men's prison.

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For transgender prisoners, a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) would normally be necessary before a person could be placed in a prison corresponding to their acquired gender.

His fiancée, Paula, is currently serving time in a southern state prison, and has so far served four months of what could be a thirty-six month sentence. But Paula was placed in an all male prison to serve out her sentence. The calls since then have been about Paula's hopelessness and her fear of the guards, as well as the other inmates. "It's not fair, it's not right." Like other transgender people, Paula is housed in the prison that is determined by her physical gender.

While much of the available data on LGBT inmates comes from the United States, Amnesty International maintains records of known incidents internationally in which LGBT prisoners and those perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender have suffered torture, ill-treatment and violence at the hands of fellow inmates as well as prison officials.

Many LGBT inmates who are able, even those who are openly gay outside of prison, stay in the closet with their sexual identities while imprisoned, because inmates who are known or perceived as gay, especially lesbians and gay men with stereotypically butch or effeminate characteristics, respectively, face "a very high risk of sexual abuse".

In November 2016, the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) published a revised policy on transgender prisoners.