By keeping Tara Hudson - a trans woman - incarcerated alongside male prisoners, she is being put in danger on a daily basis
Tara Hudson is 26, and currently serving a 12 week sentence at HMP Bristol, after admitting to committing assault following a bar fight last Boxing Day. There’s just one problem. HMP Bristol is a men’s prison. And Tara is a transgender woman.
But despite living her entire adult life as a woman and undergoing six years of cosmetic reconstruction, Tara has yet to complete her final reassignment surgery. And magistrates ruled that this means she’s still legally male.
‘It’s totally outrageous,’ explains her mother, Jackie Brooklyn, 48. ‘I don’t think she will cope well at all. I just feel the men are going to go after her. It’s going to be humiliating. While I understand it is a complex issue, the treatment of transgender individuals by the British judicial system is one that clearly requires greater attention and thought. The primary focus should be the safety and wellbeing of those involved.’
Now, after more than 100,000 people signed a petition to move Tara to a nearby women’s facility, prison authorities finally seem to be reconsidering her placement.
‘We’re doing all we can in order to get Tara out of that all-male environment and into an all-female environment,’ says Bath Conservative MP Ben Howlett, who sits on the Women and Equalities select committee. ‘We have a serious problem when it comes to the prison service – Tara isn’t on her own and for those people who are self-identifying the law is not in place to protect those people.’
‘The decision to put Tara in an all-male prison, despite her identifying as female, is extremely concerning,’ adds
Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of LGBTQ charity Stonewall. ‘Tara’s safety must come first, and this decision puts her at risk. The treatment of trans people in the prison service is one that needs careful review, and while it’s encouraging that the current Women and Equalities Select Committee inquiry is looking into this, something must be done now to ensure that Tara is safe and protected in her environment.’