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"Women's prisons should be single-sex"

(20 Posts)
KeepPrisonsSingleSex Thu 17-Dec-20 09:55:38

Our article published today by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies:

www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/resources/womens-prisons-should-be-single-sex

OP’s posts: |
heathspeedwell Thu 17-Dec-20 10:04:16

Brilliant article. This is so succinct:

"Vulnerable males must be housed away from female prisoners. Meeting the needs of these prisoners is a challenge which men’s prisons must meet. The female estate is not a resource for the male estate to draw upon in order to ‘solve problems’."

MichelleofzeResistance Thu 17-Dec-20 10:30:36

Succinct and to the point. And yes: excellent quote so I'm going to repeat it:

*The female estate is not a resource for the male estate to draw upon in order to 'solve problems'.

Female prisoners are not mere collateral damage to be intimidated, abused and assaulted by male prisoners who wish to have access to them: no civilised society should countenance this. This shockingly disparate view of the value of male born people and the importance of their wishes and self fulfilment alongside the utter disregard and disinterest in female people to human rights such as dignity and actual physical safety is terrifying.

And sex based. Despite being pushed by a political agenda that claims a belief that there is no such thing as sex.

cheeseismydownfall Thu 17-Dec-20 11:34:33

Vulnerable males must be housed away from female prisoners. Meeting the needs of these prisoners is a challenge which men’s prisons must meet. The female estate is not a resource for the male estate to draw upon in order to ‘solve problems.

For prisons, also substitute hospital wards, refuges, changing rooms, toilets... it is a great statement.

PurpleHoodie Thu 17-Dec-20 12:09:41

star

AnyOldPrion Thu 17-Dec-20 12:39:13

Thank you for producing this wonderfully clear article. This is such an important topic. I wish you well in your group’s endeavors.

Socrates11 Thu 17-Dec-20 15:14:24

Thank you Kate, this issue really grinds my gears. Women have the right to dignity & safety in prison. Allowing men with body dysmorphia into women's prisons is state sanctioned abuse & those allowing this abuse should face charges. It's criminal.

YouSetTheTone Thu 17-Dec-20 15:14:27

Thank you for this article. Has anyone been brave enough to tweet it?

yourhairiswinterfire Thu 17-Dec-20 15:17:53

I'm so sad and furious at the same time that that sentence even needs saying. It's common sense, and yet it's having to go to court to be sorted. It's a disgrace.

Soontobe60 Thu 17-Dec-20 15:32:00

Socrates11

Thank you Kate, this issue really grinds my gears. Women have the right to dignity & safety in prison. Allowing men with body dysmorphia into women's prisons is state sanctioned abuse & those allowing this abuse should face charges. It's criminal.

Not all have body dysmorphia. A significant number only ‘come out’ as trans once sentenced.

Winesalot Thu 17-Dec-20 15:35:40

I read this on twitter. Excellent. Thank you.

Vulnerable males must be housed away from female prisoners. Meeting the needs of these prisoners is a challenge which men’s prisons must meet. The female estate is not a resource for the male estate to draw upon in order to ‘solve problems.

Cannot be said often enough.

KeepPrisonsSingleSex Thu 17-Dec-20 19:31:28

Thank you everyone!

This was the third article in a series, with more to come. Very much looking forward to reading what's published over the coming weeks.

By Murray Blackburn Mackenzie:
www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/resources/opaque-and-overdue-scottish-prison-service-trans-prisoner-policy-review

By Rhona Hotchkiss:
www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/resources/we-need-open-discussion-welfare-women-prison

OP’s posts: |
donquixotedelamancha Thu 17-Dec-20 22:45:23

The CCJS has been utterly superb on this issue.

Great article.

ChattyLion Fri 18-Dec-20 00:05:30

"*Vulnerable males must be housed away from female prisoners. Meeting the needs of these prisoners is a challenge which men’s prisons must meet. The female estate is not a resource for the male estate to draw upon in order to ‘solve problems*’."

Beautifully put.

‘Solve problems’ in quotes coveys so much;

including that:
- the ‘solution’ of male-born people in female estate is not actually ‘solving’ problems at all if you look at it in the round, as opposed to looking at it solely from a male perspective. Because objectively it is in fact, causing problems and risks de novo, for women.
- the actual problem here: of male rejection, hostility or violence towards gender non-conforming men, is not ‘solved’ by, addressed or in any way actually changed at all by housing male-born people in with women.
- another ‘problem’ of some male prisoners or some male prison estate staff not wanting GNC male-born people to be housed within the male estate, either for homophobic or transphobic reasons or perhaps in accordance with their personal beliefs that those GNC individuals literally are women, and in either instance thus believing that all GNC male-born people should be housed in the female estate.. equally should not be ‘solved’ by the female estate. Because that is not the responsibility of the female estate to solve that problem. That is not what the female prison estate is there for to do. It’s not the purpose of the female prison estate, to help any men deal with their issues. However deep seated or compelling, or sincerely held as beliefs.
- there may not be any actual ‘problem’ for some individuals with being in the men’s estate at all, their self identified ‘problem’ with being in the men’s may actually be all a wheeze to gain access to vulnerable women, or just be a way of gaining control over their environment or who knows other reasons. Nobody can look into other people’s minds to know for sure and in any case not a women’s prisons problem.
-there may not be an objective ‘problem’ (like personal safety threat concerns or social ostracism concerns for the GNC person if they were housed in the men’s at all, if the male estate already have found a good solution to those potential issues. It may just be that being in the men’s estate isn’t sufficiently validating for that individual’s preference. Still, not a problem for the female estate to manage.
- ditto but the GNC person holds a GRC changing their legal status to female legal sex class, which is a legal and logistical problem for the lawyers and male estate to solve, but still not a women’s estate problem to solve.
- and so on.

ChattyLion Fri 18-Dec-20 00:12:41

ditto but the GNC person holds a GRC changing their legal status to female legal sex class

Here my ‘ditto’ means: ‘there may not be an objective ‘problem’’.

By that I wasn’t making any comment on the motivations on why somebody might want a GRC, that’s up to them. I was just commenting on the fact of someone having a GRC and how that might influence thinking around their given destination of where they are housed if they became a prisoner.

Datun Fri 18-Dec-20 00:45:11

Excellent article. Crystal clarity.

NiceGerbil Fri 18-Dec-20 02:24:02

I find it bizarre that this is even something that needs to be stated.

The fact it's happened is just mind boggling.

Socrates11 Fri 18-Dec-20 13:58:37

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

MichelleofzeResistance Fri 18-Dec-20 14:49:37

With that list above of possible problems to be solved, it does become rather clearer that those problems being raised with the women's estate as the solution largely serve the purpose of justifying males being in the female estate.

Without those problems, it is simply the validation issue: a belief that a male born person who states their gender identity is a woman has the right to have that identity believed and validated by being treated exactly in the way of any female born person.

The problems linked to male prisoners placed in the female estate are all ones for female prisoners, and while the potential problems suggested for male prisoners are given huge discussion and consideration, the problems for female prisoners are in comparison barely mentioned.

The key problem is rather like the one presented by the theoretical statement "entitlement to a sexual partner is a human right". On the surface it may in itself sound reasonable to debate: it is indeed a very sad thing for someone to not have that experience in their life, and there would be many very sad personal experiences from those who could share the hardships of this.

However when this idea is unpacked, there is the realisation that in order for someone to have a legal entitlement to a sexual partner, there must by extension be a legal compulsion for a system to provide people necessary to the achievement of this entitlement. And this is the rub. Ethically, can one group of people be used and compelled in this way to meet the needs of another group? Does the vulnerability and distress of some justify such treatment of others?

These are the questions really under debate in this issue.

KeepPrisonsSingleSex Fri 18-Dec-20 15:06:55

Yes to all this!

Reading through the history of how decision-making and policy in this area have developed it is clear that the starting position is that it is both legitimate and desirable that at least some males should be housed in the female estate. The question "should we do this?" doesn't seem to have ever been asked. The question is only "which males should we house in women's prisons and how can we make sure that we are fair to these males in selecting them?"

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