Tara Hudson, a 26 year old transgender woman from Bath, has lost her appeal against her sentence at a men’s prison.
Words: Daisy Greenaway, Subeditor: Mariya Savova
After being sentenced to 12 weeks at the all-male HMP Bristol prison for assault charges, an appeal was launched, backed by thousands of supporters, to have her moved to a women’s facility. Llewelyn Sellick, The Recorder of Bristol, said Miss Hudson had a “worrying criminal record” and added: “It is for the prison service and not the court to establish where a sentence should be served”. The judge had asked for consideration in where she serves the sentence.
Over 140,000 people had signed online petitions demanding she be moved to a safer environment saying “We, the undersigned, stand with Tara and her family and believe that this decision is in breach of her Human Rights, and places her in extreme danger of abuse, sexual violence, and even death”.
They claim the decision is in breach of UK guidelines concerning transgender inmates. These include:
- Being placed according to their gender “as recognised by UK law” – often stated on their passport or birth certificate (transgenders receive new certificates after obtaining a “gender recognition certificate”)
- If the certificate obtained whilst in prison they “should in most cases be transferred to the estate of their acquired gender”
- Some transgender people may be placed “in the estate of their acquired gender, even if the law does not yet recognise they are of their acquired gender” if they are”sufficiently advanced in the gender reassignment process”
- If issues arise, a “case conference” should be held to “review the prisoner’s individual circumstances and make a recommendation”.
Hudson had eight previous similar convictions before being jailed for headbutting a barman and causing damage to his teeth. She had hoped her punishment would be less severe but the assault took place just three weeks after she was given conditional discharge.
As she could not provide an updated certificate she had been sentenced to HMP Bristol which holds around 600 men.