In another victory for #hashtag activism, prison authorities are preparing for a climb-down by transferring a violent, biologically male prisoner with a male passport to a female jail after 97,000 people signed an online petition, promoted by a Conservative Member of Parliament.
On the same day, it was revealed that guidelines pertaining to the transgendered in prison are being rewritten, and the Conservative Minister for Women and Equalities, Nicky Morgan (pictured on left above), said the government is “open” to allowing people to legally self-declare as whatever gender they feel like, regardless of how they live.
As Breitbart London reported yesterday, unemployed make-up artist Tara Hudson, 26 (pictured on right above), was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison after admitting to a violent attack. Hudson, from Bath, has lived as a woman for several years, putting herself through some reconstructive surgery and hormone treatment.
— Ben Howlett MP (@ben4bath) October 28, 2015
The ensuing online storm prompted Tory Ben Howlett, Hudson’s MP for Bath, to pledge to do “all we can in order to get Tara out of that all-male environment and into an all-female environment.”
Adding: “We have a serious problem when it comes to the prison service – Tara isn’t on her own and for those people who are self-identifying the law is not in place to protect those people.”
Transgender campaigners estimate that there are between 20 and 30 transgendered individuals currently imprisoned in the UK. And following the Hudson case, it has been revealed by The Independent that guidelines are being revised, with the updated version expected to be published in coming month.
Current Ministry of Justice guidelines, from 2011, state that those without their preferred gender on their passport can live “in role” in jail, be transferred if they legally change whilst imprisoned, and for some, “it may be appropriate to place them in the estate of their acquired gender, even if the law does not yet recognise they are of their acquired gender.”
Factors to be considered include “where the prisoner would feel most comfortably housed” and “the risks both to the individual and to other prisoners.”
Campaigners have to clarify how the guidelines could be any more accommodating than they already are.
The Hudson petition stated: “We believe that this decision is in breach of her Human Rights, and places her in extreme danger of abuse, sexual violence, and even death.”
However, it the “risks” to, and human right of, other biologically female prisoners are a factor in the current guidelines, possibly resulting in Hudson initially being house where she was.
It remains to be seen if the rights of such biological women are to be eroded further in the new guidelines in favour of the transgendered, as has so often been the case in sports, schools, toilets and gyms.
— Women&EqualitiesCtte (@Commonswomequ) October 28, 2015
Mr Howlett, who sits on the Women’s and Equalities Committee, believes “trans people have a right to self identify,” which could follow the model of Ireland, where they can be legally recognised as female merely by saying they are, without living or appearing as women.
Just yesterday, talking to the committee, Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan stated that she is “open” to the idea of allowing people to self-declare their gender, which raises the prospect of bearded, muscular people who live as men, but identify as women, being housed in female prisons.