Current Affairs

Trans rapist complains of jail prejudice

PinkNews Staff Writer February 5, 2007
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A prisoner at the high security Whitemoor prison has complained that she is the victim of harassment by staff and inmates because she is transsexual.

Jessica Winfield, formerly known as Martin, is serving a sentence for rape.

Whitemoor prison, near March in Cambridgeshire, houses around 500 of the UK’s most dangerous prisoners.

Jessica is being considered for gender reassignment surgery.

She wrote to the prisoners’ newspaper, Inside Time, to complain about her treatment.

“Unfortunately there is a minority of staff and inmates that give me a hard time because of my sexuality, possibly through lack of understanding and empathy,” she wrote, according to the BBC.

“So not only do I have the problem of dealing with serious emotional issues surrounding my gender reassignment sex change but also added pressures and issues due to comments and abuse from certain individuals.”

Winfield said she felt trapped in a man’s body and asked when the Home Office will take steps to give legal protection to transsexual people in jail.

“I have changed my name to that of a female to prove to the authorities and everyone concerned that I am very serious about my gender and that I do not feel right being a man,” Winfield wrote.

Prison officers told Jessica to make a formal complaint.

A Prison Service gave a statement to the BBC:

“The Prison Service is committed to ensuring all prisoners are treated fairly and equally, no matter what their colour, race, religion or sexual orientation.

“Any individual who believes that they have been the victim of discrimination or bullying whilst in prison service custody should make a complaint and it will be thoroughly investigated by the prison.”

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