The Centre has had a busy week after releasing our latest report - Young people, violence and knives - a briefing evaluating different approaches to addressing knife violence.
Our Director, Richard Garside, was also invited to discuss public health approaches and knife violence on Talk Radio.
On the issue of transgender prisoners, Richard is quoted in The Sun, stating that:
We are only talking about prisoners identifying as trans so that’s one complexity. I know anecdotally some prisoners have been turned down for transfer because the governor considers them to be insincere or posing a significant risk to women prisoners. The policy dates back to 2016 and to a couple of case when trans women had been put in the male estate and at least one had killed themselves because of the distress.
The policy says if you have a GRC you could normally expect to go to the prison of your gender and also if you self-identify you can transfer after an assessment but clearly in the case of Karen White she shouldn’t have been in a women’s prison but it’s the policy which allowed her to be there. My educated guess is unless the policy is changed there will be more Karen White cases. The concern is the welfare and safety of women prisoners when a trans woman is being sent there. The prisons service’s own rules from 1999 specify females and males should be held separately, so basically the prison service’s own policy is in breach of the rules and also the international guidelines.