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Second trans woman found dead in a men’s prison in two months

Joseph McCormick December 1, 2015

For the second time in a matter of weeks a trans woman prisoner has been found dead in her cell at a men’s prison.

Joanne Latham was found hanged at the HMP Woodhill prison in Milton Keynes, the BBC has reported.

According to a Prison Service report, the 38-year-old who was 2001 serving life for attempted murder, barricaded herself in her cell.

She was given a subsequent life sentence for attempted murder whilst serving her original sentence in HM Frankland in 2007.

In 2011, she received a third life sentence for the attempted murder of a fellow patient in Rampton secure hospital in 2011.

As well as barricading the door, the report read that Latham had blocked the observation panel of the door.

“After receiving no response from her, staff requested permission to enter the cell,” it read, according to the BBC.

An investigation will take place into Latham’s death by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.

A coroner is yet to complete a post-mortem on her body, but she was “found unresponsive” once officers were able to get into the cell.

After paramedics were called in the early hours of Friday morning, they ceased attempting to resuscitate her, and she was pronounced dead.

A Prison Service spokesman told PinkNews: “HMP Woodhill prisoner Joanne Latham was found unresponsive on the morning of Friday 27 November.

“Staff and paramedics attempted resuscitation but she was pronounced dead at 6.20am.

“As with all deaths in custody there will be an investigation by the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman”.

PinkNews understands that Latham began to transition in August 2015, after applying to change her name on prison records.

An inquest began last week into the death of Vikki Thompson, a trans woman who was last month found dead in her cell in a men’s prison.

Vicky-Image1

Ms Thompson’s death came just weeks after a public pressure campaign succeeded in securing the move of another trans woman, Tara Hudson, out of an all-male facility.

Existing law currently makes provisions for trans prisoners without a GRC to be sent to the prison of their preferred gender – but activists have warned that the rules are not always consistently taken into account.

The government has pledged full support to an ongoing review of the procedures surrounding the handling of trans inmates.

However, ministers this week resisted calls from peers to take emergency action to assess the location of the current transgender prison population.

More: death, hm prison, inquest, investigation, Milton Keynes, prison, Trans, trans woman, Transgender, vikki thompson, woodhill

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