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Protesters set to rally at Doncaster prison to highlight failure in maintaining trans inmate’s rights

Meka Beresford January 21, 2017

Prison

Protesters are set to rally at Doncaster prison today to highlight the prison’s failure to maintaining basic rights for trans inmates.

Doncaster prison has been chosen as the location for protesters to rally after 49-year-old trans inmate Jenny Swift died by suicide there last month.

Despite identifying as female, Swift was kept in the men’s prison and had her requests to move to a women’s prison repeatedly denied.

Ms Swift faced a charge of attempted murder after she was accused of stabbing a man in Yorkshire.

During a three year period up until being imprisoned she was described hormone treatment but when she was jailed her treatment requests were also denied.

Swift was found dead in her cell on December 30th, just two days before new guidelines about trans inmate treatment were due to be published.

No Prisons Manchester, Action for Trans Health and the Queer Agenda Sheffield have all organised the rally and aims to draw attention to trans prisoner mistreatment.

They said: “The protest is planned to coincide with Trans Prisoner Day of Action and Solidarity, an annual international event protesting the treatment of trans and non-binary prisoners.

The groups advocate that sending trans prisoners to the “wrong gender facilities” causes “extreme psychological distress and loss of dignity, as well as putting them at risk of violence by other prisoners.”

The UK government had promised a review in 2015 of the way trans people in prisons are dealt with, after two female prisoners died within weeks of each other while being held in all-male facilities.

The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has recommended reforms on trans issues following the string of deaths of trans prisoners.

More: LGBT, NHS, prison, Trans, trans rights, Transgender, UK

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