Twelve Sexual and Violent Offender Trans Inmates Moved Into Women’s Prisons in Scotland

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Twelve Sexual and Violent Offender Trans Inmates Moved Into Women’s Prisons in Scotland

Scotland has placed twelve violent or sexually offending transgender prisoners in women’s jails over the past year and a half, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

The biologically male transgender prisoners include only one inmate who has actually completed gender reassignment surgery, while the other eleven have merely self-identified as female.

The director of the Keep Prisons Single Sex campaign group, Dr Kate Coleman, told The Times: “The evidence clearly indicates that where prisoners of the male sex, no matter how they identify, are held in women’s prisons, women in prison are negatively impacted.”

The pitfalls of housing biological males in women’s prisons have been long demonstrated, with then-President of the British Association of Gender Identity Specialists, Dr James Barrett, warning Parliament in 2015 that there is a “plethora of prison intelligence suggesting” that the “driving force” behind male sexual offenders identifying as female was to “make subsequent sexual offending very much easier”.

One notable case of transgender sexual violence in female prisons occurred when convicted rapist Karen White, born Stephen Wood, sexually assaulted several female inmates after being transferred to a women’s prison after claiming to be transgender.

In another example, a double rapist, Martin Ponting, who later identified as Jessica Winfield, was forced into isolation after reportedly sexually harassing female inmates at the Bronzefield women’s prison.

The former governor of the Cornton Vale women’s prison in Stirling, Rhona Hotchkiss, said: “My experience is that it is always an issue to have trans women in with female prisoners and you have to think beyond the obvious which is physical or sexual threat, which is sometimes an issue, to the very fact of the presence of male-bodied prisoners among vulnerable women causes them distress and consternation.”

The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) is currently reviewing the country’s transgender prison policy and whether the practice of housing biological males in female prisons should be stopped.

Until now, the SPS has failed to consult with female inmates, feminist campaigners, and prison officers, having only looked to trans activists and the far-left LGBT campaign group Stonewall in order to reach the stated goal of improving the “working and living environment by ensuring it is free of any transphobic and homophobic behaviour”.

A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service said that “One of the groups we will be particularly keen to consult is the female prison population, who have not been specifically consulted about this before.

“The need for wider consultations has been recognised and the planned consultation will provide an opportunity for a wide range of groups to have input.”

The SPS claimed that the decision to place a transgender prisoner is based on individual risk assessments that consider the “risks potentially presented both to and by the individuals.”

Earlier this year, Police Scotland said that suspected rapists and other criminals are allowed to self-identify with the gender of their choosing, saying that the police force will not require any evidence of a person’s proclaimed gender other than “self-declaration”.

 

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