A transgender woman sentenced to 12 weeks in an all-male prison may to be transferred to a female facility, it has been confirmed.
Tara Hudson, 26, was convicted of common assault after a bar fight on Boxing Day last year. Sentenced to 12 weeks in prison by Bath Magistrates, Hudson was taken to HMP Bristol, which accommodates adult males only. As Hudson’s final gender reassignment surgery is yet to be undergone, she is still legally recognised as a male despite living as a woman for all of her adult life and having undergone other surgical procedures for six years.
Reactions online when Hudson’s story first broke were understandably filled with anger and frustration:
— CN Lester (@cnlester) October 27, 2015
— Brandon Evers (@BrandonEvrs) October 27, 2015
A petition was set up on Change.org with approval from Hudson’s mother, Jackie Brooklyn. Ceri Caramél, the creator of the petition, posed that Hudson was “in extreme danger of abuse, sexual violence, and even death”.
After being shared across multiple social networking sites and news outlets, the petition has gained over 90,000 signatures.
A recent US study showed that transgender women in all-male prisons are 13 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than in the general population, with 40% of transgender prisoners being abused each year.
On top of this, the most recent inspection of HMP Bristol by HM Inspectorate of Prisons last autumn saw that levels of violence had risen sharply since 2013, becoming considerably higher than other facilities.
In account of Hudson’s struggle, the “care and management of transsexual prisoners” document is now being revised, with an updated version due to be published in the coming months.