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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 November 2015

Transgender woman locked up in male prison by senseless courts

Brian Caton, Former prison officer and general secretary of prison officers' union POA

Tara Hudson, a transgender woman, was locked up in an all-male prison after her conviction for assault.

It seems the courts may now have moved her to a female prison, after national media coverage and a 160,000-name petition. But it should never have happened in the first place.

When asked to sign the petition for this woman, who has lived as such all her adult life, l had absolutely no difficulty supporting it.

Risk

Transgender women in male prisons are always at risk.

Prison managers know this. They isolate such prisoners. This prevents access to rehabilitation, ties up staff and can be severely damaging to the inmate.

Prisoners still have human and civil rights, which are not removed by the act of imprisonment.

You wouldn't put any other woman in a male prison. It is only the bureaucracy and bigotry of the judicial system which insists the decision rests on the 'official' gender on your passport.

It also seems that, like most in-mates, Tara may have some mental health problems. More than 70% of prisoners in England and Wales have two or more mental health disorders.

Transgender people are already more at risk of depression than others. Subjecting them to harassment and isolation only makes this worse.

It took me back in time. As a newly appointed prison officer, I faced all these difficulties. The duty of care falls not on the decision makers, but those carrying out their foolish instructions.

What should the justice system do to solve this problem? It's simple - apply common sense. When we locate transgender women in female prisons it works.

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In The Socialist 4 November 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

10 an hour now!

Unions must capitalise on mass anger at austerity and anti-union laws

The 'tampon tax' is a tax on being a woman

Long hours ruining health without lifting productivity

Transgender woman locked up in male prison

Tory bid to turn co-op tenants against one another

Them & Us

What we saw


International socialist news and analysis

US: #blacklivesmatter movement challenges racism

Turkey: Erdogan's victory based on fear and intimidation

International news in brief


Socialist Party features

The Socialist: A fighting antidote to the mainstream media's lies

The socialist case for nationalisation of the steel industry

Struggle for solidarity with refugees must be anti-austerity

Where did the unions' money go?


Workplace news and analysis

Strike together to Kill the Bill

Determined DLR strikers to "fight all the way"

Unison general secretary election - vote Roger Bannister

London Underground rep targeted for trade union activity

Fire service cuts put people at risk

Solidarity action for victimised Unison rep

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Wrong: Owen Jones tells Labour "abandon anti-austerity"

Cycle cheat Armstrong's hypocrisy and bullying


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

The Socialist campaign: buy it, sell it - read it, write it

Socialist Party joins campaign against NHS bullying

Super Southampton fighting fund campaign


 

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