A violent inmate – lovingly described by one of his fellow inmates as “The UK’s happiest prisoner” – who spent 10 years in an all-female prison after having gender reassignment surgery, returned to an all-male prison after having a second sex change.
Both sex changes took place on the NHS at a cost of around £30,000 ($39,345).
Two fellow inmates from the all-female facility Foston Hall, spoke exclusively to METRO and said the situation was an open secret that angered many of the female inmates.
One of them told METRO, “He had been in jail for so long everyone knew him and he was part of the furniture. We treated him like a woman, but you would not mess with him.”
“In prison you learn fast not to get involved in other people’s business, but used to joke he must have been the happiest prisoner in England being surrounded with women every day instead of being in a horrible man’s jail.”
“He had years to get a woman. He found a Mrs, they worked together and got married inside.”
He spent almost 10 years in the female facility before starting the transition back to being a man. After receiving hormone treatments he was reintroduced to the male population this past spring.
A different Foston Hall inmate told METRO, “Women’s jails should be just for women. It just did not seem right but there was nothing any of us could do to change the situation.”
“Now knowing he is a geezer again makes me wonder if it was a long term plan. I could not get a mole removed when I was inside so how he convinced them to give him two sex changes God only knows.”
One penal reformer from Fair Play for Women, Nicola Williams, believes that trans inmates should not be allowed into female jails.
“This is another case that is very worrying. And the issue is we do not know how many male body transgenders are in female prisons,” Williams said.
“They have grown up as men so they deal with situations very differently than women, it is an issue of control.”
“Males have a different way of dealing, men can be much more controlling, in prison, and women prisoners are at a natural disadvantage if it comes to a physical confrontation.”
Fair Play for Women have petitioned the government about women’s rights in prisons concerning the transgender population.
Ms. Williams added: “The UK government doesn’t even know accurate figures for how many transgender prisoners they already have in prisons. The current estimate of 125 is self-reported by prisoners and prison governors.”
“They do not know the criminal profiles of these trans-identified prisoners so how can they possibly access the risk of any policy change in this area.”
A spokesman for the Prison Service said, “We are unable to advise on the private matters of individual prisoners.”
The Ministry of Justice has said in the past there were “strict safeguards” to prevent abuse of the way transgender prisoners are managed and that attempts to try and undermine the system were rare.
Since 1999 when John Pilley became Jane Anne, more than 100 prisoners have had gender reassignment, many of whom wanted to return to being a man after the procedure.
Last month, Karen White, who was born male but identifies as female, confessed to two counts of sexual touching at New Hall Prison in Wakefield – an all-female jail. She has since been moved to an all-male facility.
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