Trans prisoner goes on hunger strike after being placed in a men’s prison
A transgender prisoner has gone on hunger strike for being placed in a men’s prison.
Marie Dean, a trans woman, was placed at HMP Preston, a men’s prison in Lancaster.
She has told friends that she doesn’t “want to be alive any more”, after being placed in the facility.
The 50-year-old wrote a letter to friends saying she planned to go on hunger strike.
“I decided yesterday that I don’t want to be alive anymore. I stopped eating and drinking and should die in about three, maybe four weeks.
“I remember Bobby Sands years ago, not eating and drinking until he died. His belief drove him to succeed,” said the letter that was published in The Guardian.
Ms Dean also said she has requested makeup, hair straighteners and an epilator but that she had the request denied.
She is serving an indeterminate length for public protection after convictions for burglary.
A petition has been started to have the prisoner moved to an all-female facility and to be granted access to her clothes and makeup.
The petition reads: “The truth is it appears that the Ministry of Justice are unwilling to give up judging for themselves what gender a person is regardless as to how long the person has lived in their chosen gender.
“In Marie Dean’s case her harrowing ordeal has been both long and traumatising, she has now given up and wants to die and it’s not surprising.
It continues: “She had served many years behind bars as a transgender woman, forced to reside in the male estate, exposed to physical and mental abuse whilst serving a sentence with no end date.”
According to a report in MailOnline, Ms Dean was given allowances such as being allowed to wear female clothing.
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A Ministry of Justice spokesperson told MailOnline: “The welfare of those in our custody is a top priority. There are stringent procedures in place to ensure transgender prisoners are managed safely and in accordance with the law.
“We have robust safeguards in place to ensure that the system is not abused.”
A transgender inmate was last year given the right to serve her sentence in a women’s prison after a lengthy court battle which saw her spend 400 days in segregation and attempt to take her own life during her first days in prison.
Michelle Wright, who filed a lawsuit against the Oregon Department of Corrections in 2015 in order to be transferred to a women’s prison, spent more than a year in solitary confinement in a male unit during her five-year sentence.
During that time, Wright has attempted suicide three times and has tried to castrate herself during her stay in the Two Rivers Correctional Facility.