Written evidence from an anonymous submitter

 

My name is [name] and I am a full time mum. I write as a concerned woman, that female prisoners needs are not being catered for and would therefore like to answer question 9 as follows;

 

More can be done to make sure that a trauma informed environment is provided for female inmates by simply not allowing male born people into women’s prisons. The Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service Policy Framework set out how and why a male can be housed in a woman’s prison.   The Care and Management of Individuals who are Transgender policy from 2020 applies to prisons throughout England and Wales. Right from the start, there is a misunderstanding of the law. The policy framework states; All individuals who are transgender must be initially allocated to part of the [prison] estate which matches their legally recognised gender.

This means that, according to the MoJ & HMPPS, a male with a GRC which states that he is legally a woman must initially be housed in a women’s prison.

 

To put it quite simply: they are wrong.  The law does not state that males with a GRC must be treated as female in every respect.  Nor does the law mean that male offenders with a GRC must be housed in a women’s prison.  In fact, the law allows that these males can be excluded from women’s prisons.

 

Women in prison are more vulnerable than men. Many have experienced sexual and or violent abuse from men and need to be away from them in order to recover. Many have mental health problems and are suicidal.

   Over 30% of female prisoners report a history of sexual abuse, compared with 10% of male prisoners.

    Almost 60% of women reported experiencing domestic violence.

    There is a high prevalence of traumatic brain injury amongst female prisoners (65%).  The majority of these injuries were caused by a male partner.

    Almost 50% of female prisoners have mental health problems compared with under 20% of male prisoners.

    Whilst women make up 5% of the prison population, around 25% of self-harm incidences occur in the female estate.  The rate of self-harm incidents per individual is also higher for women (6.4 incidents per self-harming individual) than for men (3.0 incidents per self-harming individual).

 

Women in prisons need to be kept safe away from violent, abusive men. They literally cannot escape. 2 years ago, a well publicised individual was housed in a woman’s prison, where he went on to abuse two inmates. Why were his needs put before those of the female inmates? In the U.S, female prisoners were told to “look out ,the men are coming”. This is torture, plain and simple. Keep Prisons Single SEX.

 

4 June 2021