“Women to be treated like women in prison” probably isn’t a newsworthy headline to most people or, in fact, a particularly surprising statement. But as some have probably seen, the Telegraph and the Daily Mail reported yesterday that the Ministry of Justice have “published” a guide on trans prisoners. (Published in quotes because as yet there is no indication of anything new on the web sites of either the Ministry or the Prison Service)
It’s likely the content of the manual isn’t anything new given that the prison service policies are nothing new, so they presumably only warrant a story because the kinds of people who read those papers may have a tendancy to whip themselves up into a righteous foaming indignatation based on the spin presented by the journalists and feel much better about it afterwards.
Without seeing the document there’s not much to say, except to note that the news reports are damning of the idea that trans women can wear their own clothes. This might sound like a liberty, until you check prison service rules. Convicted male prisoners do not get to wear their own clothes, it’s true. However, all female prisoners – either convicted or awaiting trial – do get to wear their own clothes.
So they’re treating trans women just like other women in prison. Fancy that. (The existence of trans men is, of course, something that the press haven’t considered.)