Government urged to build dedicated ‘transgender prison’ after women sent to men’s prisons
The UK government has been urged to build a specialist unit to house transgender people – after a series of scandals surrounding women in men’s prisons.
Two transgender prisoners died within weeks of eachother last month – while being kept in all-male facilities. Inquests have open into the successive deaths of Vikki Thompson at HMP Leeds, and Joanne Latham at HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes.
A third prisoner, Tara Hudson, has been vocal in criticising her treatment after being kept in a male prison- while a shocking fourth case revealed a trans woman “injected bleach” into her testicles while being kept in a male prison.
Despite the repeated issue, the government declined to take emergency action to identify other trans prisoners – opting to wait until a review concludes before undertaking measures.
However, Ms Hudson’s family have called for a specialist trans or LGBT prison to be created to deal with the issue.
Her mother Jackie Brooklyn told the Bath Chronicle: “I want Tara to be the last victim of a system which desperately needs bringing into the modern world.
“The Government needs to step in and ensure LGBTs are treated appropriately or these sorts of tragedies will happen again.
“Rights for transgenders are 20 years behind those of gays and lesbians. It’s only now the issues are starting to be discussed.
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“Transgenders, as well as gays, lesbians and bisexuals, are like everyone else… there’ll always be those among them who break the law.
“But they are particularly vulnerable to the victimisation that is part of life in mainstream prisons.”
She added: “The Government has said it is going to close some of the worst old prisons and build nine new ones.
“That means there will never be a better time to build a prison just for LGBTs.
“The UK is a small country and if it were built somewhere like Birmingham that would be pretty central site for most people.”
Plans for a specialised trans detention centre have previously been mooted in the United States – but are yet to get off the ground.