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Crime

Prison officers banned trans inmate from mixing with others in prison and called ‘it’

Meka Beresford August 28, 2017
Trans prisoners: 11 trans woman sexually assaulted in prison last year

A trans inmate who spent two weeks in a prison has revealed that she was called “it” and was segregated from other inmates.

Shantelle Taylor was on remand at Cornton Vale prison when she was subject to the discrimination.

Speaking to the Daily Record, the 24-year-old explained that she felt like she was “constantly” victimised by the guards.

“There was one officer who I felt was constantly antagonising me and shouting at me in front of everyone.

“One day when I was coming back to my cell, another prisoner shouted a question to me so I replied and he turned around and said, ‘He, she or whatever it is needs to keep quiet.

“I just burst into tears in front of the whole hall which isn’t like me because I’m a strong person,” she said.

Taylor went on to explain that she didn’t report the incidents when she was still in the prison because she felt she would not be able to enact the same change.

“I didn’t report it even though a lot of the other girls told me to because I knew nothing would really be done about it.

“The other officers who heard it tried to say he wasn’t talking about me but he had said it in front of everyone,” she added.

Related: First trans prison inmate granted gender surgery

Taylor was not allowed into other inmates cells, being forced to sit at the door of a cell because of her gender status.

She tried to argue that this precaution was not necessary because she had been with her partner for over three years.

However, she was still made to feel uncomfortable by some of the guards.

Related: A transgender prisoner failed to be recognised as a woman, now she has been found dead in a men’s prison

“I felt like I wasn’t getting treated the way I should have been by the prison service.

“When I went in, they said to me that I was a female and I’d be treated like one but I wasn’t,” she added.

Taylor has called on the Scottish Prison Service to review their policy for trans inmates after the ordeal which left her in tears.

She wants to help the service with her own experience by lending support from the perspective of a trans inmate.

She said: “I’d like to use my experience to go back to the prison and support transgender prisoners and work with the officers to help improve their understanding.”

A Scottish Prison Service spokesman said: “We take the issues of equality and diversity very seriously.

“We have very well established policies to ensure individuals are treated with respect and dignity. We are advised in those policies by, among others, the Scottish Transgender Alliance.”

More: LGBT, prison, prison officer, Trans, Transgender, UK

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