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Write to Caroline Dineage Justice Minister about MoJ Review

(42 Posts)
PlonitbatPlonit Thu 10-Dec-15 12:44:01

I have emailed the Ministry of Justice to ask to whom comments about the terms of reference for the Ministry of Justice Review of care and management of transgender offenders should be sent.

They have told me that comments should be marked for the attention of Caroline Dineage Justice Minister and sent to the email address

The specific comment or question that I want to raise is that, given the context of the review (presented as a response to concerns that deaths of transgender prisoners are due to not being held in the women's estate) female prisoners should be explicitly mentioned, and not just alluded to as 'relevant stakeholders'.

I think there are grounds for arguing that the aspiration to 'safeguard the wellbeing of all prisoners' requires a balancing of the needs, and that therefore it is not reasonable that the terms of reference explicitly reference the transgender community but make no mention of female prisoners.

I'm going to email now, but if there are others here who feel similarly perhaps you could email along the same lines.

PlonitbatPlonit Thu 10-Dec-15 13:03:03

My email for anyone who wants to use as a template says

"I have read the draft terms of reference for the recently announced Review of Care and Management of Transgender Offenders. I am very concerned that there is no explicit mention of female prisoners in the terms of reference of the review. Given the political context in which this review takes place is one in which there is considerable lobbying for transgender prisoners to be more frequently held in the women’s estate, it should be clear that female prisoners have very important interests in the outcome of this review, and should not simply be silently alluded to together with all other ‘relevant stakeholders.’

I do hope it is not too late to correct this significant oversight, and that you will be able to amend the terms of reference to give explicit reference to including female prisoners, as it does to the trans community."

howtorebuild Thu 10-Dec-15 13:27:02

Many thanks.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 10-Dec-15 14:48:28

Excellent letter.

PlonitbatPlonit Thu 10-Dec-15 14:54:50

Please do consider sending your own thoughts on the subject to marking you email FAO Caroline Dineage

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 10-Dec-15 14:56:50

I think I might just do that op! 👍🏻

CrayonShavings Thu 10-Dec-15 17:46:45

Thanks OP, I'm going to do just that.

OneMoreCasualty Thu 10-Dec-15 19:16:51

Bank you.

HermioneWeasley Thu 10-Dec-15 19:20:50

Thanks Plonit

Elendon Thu 10-Dec-15 19:40:53

Thank you for doing this. I shall email with my own amended letter, based on your template.

PlonitbatPlonit Thu 10-Dec-15 19:47:54

Great, I'm glad it won't just be me!

TheXxed Fri 11-Dec-15 19:22:56

Just sent. Thank you for the template

PlonitbatPlonit Fri 11-Dec-15 20:30:13

Thank you, TheXXed. I think the more women that email the Justice Minister about this the better.

HermioneWeasley Sun 13-Dec-15 10:33:13

Sent mine. It's a lot longer than Plonit's, but this issue just makes me so cross!

"Dear Ms Dineage

I am writing as I understand you have a role in the review of the treatment of transgender prisoners. I believe this has come about as a result of the recent high profile cases including Tara Hudson, and Vicky Thompson. I am not aware of any cases where a born woman has insisted on being sent to a male prison, so I am considering the review through the lense of men being incarcerated with women.

I have read the terms of reference, and am concerned by the lack of explicit reference to the impact on female prisoners, or the intention to engage with anyone who represents their welfare and concerns.

Currently, prisons are segregated by sex, not "gender". There are obvious reasons for this. I do not believe they disappear because a born male "identifies" as a woman. There has been at least one case (Paris Green) where a male bodied transwoman inprisoned in the women's estate for an extremely violent crime, had to been moved as they were having sex with the female inmates. The only study I am aware of (a cohort study in Sweden which looked at the behaviour of all the transgender people in the country) showed that trans women continue to commit crime at the same rate as men, so this sub group of men have the potential to be a disproportionate part of the women's prison population. I would also ask you to consider whether the review should discuss whether crimes committed by trans women should be recorded as having been committed by women, as this has the potential to skew the statistics, particularly for violent crimes, in an extremely misleading way,

I urge you to consider the impact on vulnerable women in prison when the definition of "woman" is reduced to a "feeling" and to make sure that their rights to safety, dignity and privacy are given at least as much priority as those of the transgendered community during this review."

PlonitbatPlonit Sun 13-Dec-15 13:12:24

Great letter. The more emails the better. The terms of reference also say that the review will be 'transparent'. I do hope that means that there will be ways to contribute to the review. I especially want to make the MoJ aware of the potential numbers involved and what proportion of the women's estate might end up being male if located is decided on the basis of self-definition.

PlonitbatPlonit Sun 13-Dec-15 13:12:41

location, not located.

HumphreyCobblers Sun 13-Dec-15 13:25:37

Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I have emailed. Until I started reading threads on MN I was entirely unaware of this issue.

TheCarpenter Sun 13-Dec-15 13:38:07

I've emailed.

IrenetheQuaint Sun 13-Dec-15 13:45:30

Good letter, but better that people write their own rather than copying yours as using a template may mean that less account is taken of your response.

PlonitbatPlonit Sun 13-Dec-15 15:30:32

Yes, when I say template - I mean a model for issues/ideas. People should certainly use their own words and raise the issues that are important to them.

OurBlanche Sun 13-Dec-15 15:40:28

We worked one out yesterday and all sent in a version of it... 32 of them, including 11 men. They were really well written, concise and ever so slightly caustic in tone, as you might expect from book club members smile

PlonitbatPlonit Sun 13-Dec-15 15:45:37

Really! Wow. That's sounds a great book club.

PlonitbatPlonit Sun 13-Dec-15 15:46:44

Has anyone received any kind of response? I haven't got acknowledgment of my email though I sent it on Thursday.

OurBlanche Sun 13-Dec-15 15:47:07

Well, 3 of them really. Our bossy ladies club leaders got together on Friday night, they work together, and decided we would all do it. So yesterday, we did as we were told smile

HermioneWeasley Sun 13-Dec-15 18:37:09

Blanche y'all sound fabulous!

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