Stop the inhumane and degrading treatment of transgender women within the justice system
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We call upon the British Judicial system to immediately pull Her Majesties Prison and Probation service in line with our society’s equalities law regarding the rights of transgender people. We also specifically request that Ms Marie Dean has her identity as a woman immediately returned to her and that it is respected by all staff, to be given back her clothes and her makeup to allow her to maintain her dignity and to be moved into the female estate as quickly as possible. Leaving her in the male estate will subject her to yet more abuse, distress and transphobic behaviour. We also call upon The Gender Clinic assessment board to stop discriminating against transgender women who are serving prison sentences , currently they are refusing them progression.
During the past year or so at least three transgender women have taken their lives due to the terrible treatment they receive during their incarceration in her majesties male prisons. The truth is it appears that the Ministry of Justice are unwilling to give up judging for themselves what gender a person is regardless as to how long the person has lived in their chosen gender.
In Marie Deans case her harrowing ordeal has been both long and traumatising, she has now given up and wants to die and it’s not surprising. She had served many years behind bars as a transgender woman, forced to reside in the male estate, exposed to physical and mental abuse whilst serving a sentence with no end date.
Finally light seemed to be at the end of the tunnel when she was granted release, two years over her six year tariff. Sadly her release wasn’t what she had hoped for because she was forced to reside at Ministry of Justice male hostels. Marie had put in requests for move on properties but despite this her probation officer had refused, insisting she must continue to reside at Male hostels. In total she stayed in three separate hostels. In one Hostel she was exposed to a very toxic atmosphere where Spice was prevalent and going unchallenged and residence would stay up at all hours making excessive amounts of noise keeping her awake. She was moved to another hostel in Blackburn by the Police for her own safety after a resident repeatedly threatened to stab her in the street.
Sadly Marie didn’t get the opportunity to move forward with her life and was recalled to prison. She hadn’t committed another offence and she hadn’t hurt or threatened anyone. She has been accused of breaching her licence and as of yet we don’t know what part of this extremely tough licence she has allegedly broken. Marie had not knowingly broken any of her licence conditions but this is of little significance because she has now given up.
As an IPP sentenced prisoner once she is recalled she goes back to prison potentially indefinitely. This is the nature of the IPP sentence. It stays with you potentially for life. All she ever wanted to do was move forward with her life after working hard to identify the true cause of her offending. Now she has lost that and her identity. Returned to Preston Prison she was stripped of her femininity. Despite supposedly being protected by such abuse by the Prison instruction titled The Care and Management of Transgender Offenders, Preston Prison at least appears unwilling to respect her chosen gender. They seem to feel they are the ones who decide on what gender someone is and where they deem appropriate they have no hesitation forcibly removing someone’s identity.
Transgender people should not have their identity removed if they are unfortunate enough to enter our Justice system. Prison is a punishment that meaning the loss of liberty, it does not however mean that someone should have their identity stripped from them. This is in our opinion at the very least inhuman and degrading treatment. That’s sadly why so many Transgender women have ended their lives in the male prison estate. Things need to change and quickly before more of these vulnerable people die from the trauma of their ordeal. This may come to late for Marie but we are desperate to save her.
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