There are fears for the safety of trans woman Tara Hudson after she was sentenced to 12 weeks in an all-male prison.
Tara was sentenced by magistrates after she admitted assault at a bar last Christmas. Her mother Jackie Brooklyn is understandably worried for her daughter’s safety, she told The Bath Chronicle: “There’s nothing male about her, nobody would know the difference. She looks like a woman. She’s gorgeous.
“We think it’s totally outrageous. I don’t think she will cope well at all. I just feel the men are going to go after her. It’s going to be humiliating.
“I just want to get my daughter into a safe, female environment where she belongs and will continue to fight the decision.”
Tara has undergone six years of operations and has been living life as a woman all of her adult life.
Since her sentencing a Change.org petition has been created, asking for Tara to serve her time at a female prison.
Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall, commented on the matter saying: “The decision to put Tara in an all-male prison, despite her identifying as female, is extremely concerning. Tara’s safety must come first, and this decision puts her at risk.
The treatment of trans people in the prison service is one that needs careful review, and while it’s encouraging that the current Women and Equalities Select Committee inquiry is looking into this, something must be done now to ensure that Tara is safe and protected in her environment.”
Bath MP Ben Howlett has also spoken out about his concern for Tara: “I have heard similar evidence in other cases about the challenges faced by the transgender community. In this case, I am particularly concerned as on the face of it, it does appear that the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) Guidance does not appear to have been appropriately followed.
“Within NOMS there is a provision for transgender inmates, who do not have a Transgender Certificate, to still be housed within the prison estate, under the gender they live if they are likely to meet the criteria required for a Transgender Certificate.”
‘Someone like Tara, who has lived as a woman her whole adult life, and has undergone six years of gender reconstruction surgery, in my mind, clearly fits into this category.
“I have therefore written to the Prisons Minister, and highlighted the case to the Equalities Committee, requesting an urgent review of Tara’s case.
“I will do all that I can to help Tara, and her family, through this period and I urge members of the public to sign theChange.org petition in support of Tara as I already have.”
A Prison Service spokesman said on Monday evening: “It is long-standing policy to place offenders according to their legally recognised gender.
“There are strict rules in place to ensure transsexual prisoners are managed safely and in accordance with the law.”