A VIOLENT transgender prisoner has been blocked from moving to a women’s jail after SNP ministers intervened.
Justice Secretary Keith Brown today moved to temporarily ban all trans prisoners with a “history of violence against women” from being held or transferred to an all-women’s prison.
1Transgender prisoner Tiffany Scott has been blocked from moving to a women’s jailCredit: HandoutThis means Mr Brown has effectively blocked the planned move of offender Tiffany Scott following a furious backlash over the case.
The Scottish Prison Service has also announced “an urgent review of all transgender cases currently managed in our establishments”.
Scott, previously known as a man called Andrew Burns, had applied to be moved from a male jail to a women’s only wing.
The 31-year-old is serving an indefinite sentence as is subject to a lifelong restriction order meaning release will only be granted when the prisoner is no longer considered an “unmanageable risk to public safety”.
In 2013, Scott admitted stalking a 13-year-old girl by sending letters from prison.
In 2017, she was sentenced over a series of violent incidents at Glenochil Prison including striking a nurse on her back with a chair, punching a prison officer and spitting at another.
It comes amid the controversy over the case of convicted double-rapist Isla Bryson, who was initially sent to a women’s prison despite committing the offences while living as a man.
It only emerged on Thursday that Bryson would be moved to a male wing in a men’s prison after Nicola Sturgeon said she did not believe a rapist should be in a women’s jail.
Mr Brown announced new measures to “ensure the on-going safety of prisoners” while a review into the management of trans prisoners is undertaken.
This will mean that no newly convicted transgender person with a history of violence against women will be placed in a women’s prison.
No trans inmate with a history of violence will be moved from a male to female prison during this time.
Just days ago after Ms Sturgeon warned against a blanket ban on transgender prisoners with a history of violence against women going to female only jails.
Mr Brown said: “The on-going safety of prisoners – many of whom have experienced gender based violence in the community – will remain the priority in all actions that are taken.
“Beyond the steps being set out today, it is vital that decisions about the location and management of prisoners continue to be based on thorough risk assessment, drawing on the expertise and input of relevant professionals and applying any lessons learned from the reviews referred to.”
It came just hours after UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Alice Edwards, today intervened in the furious row over transgender prisoners insisting that “female prisoners have a right to be protected from violent sex offenders no matter how they identify”.
Dr Edwards, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, took to Twitter to call for clear guidance on the issue as MSPs are set to demand the transfer of a transgender inmate to a women’s prison to be blocked.
Dr Edwards’ intervention marks the second time a UN Special Rapporteur has stepped in over transgender issues in Scotland.
Ahead of the Gender Recognition Reforms last year, Reem Alsalem – an expert on violence against women and girls – warned that the Bill “would potentially open the door for violent males who identify as men to abuse the process of acquiring a gender certificate and the rights that are associated with it”.
The Scottish Prison Service has said it does not comment on individual cases, but that decisions were made to “achieve an outcome that balances risk and promotes the safety of all”.
Scottish Prison Service spokesperson said: “We have commenced an urgent review of all transgender cases currently managed in our establishments.
“Our first concern is always, and remains, the health, safety, and wellbeing of all the people in our care, and that of our staff.
“We have very robust risk assessment processes, and a track record of keeping people safe, in often challenging circumstances.
“We have therefore paused the movement of all transgender individuals, until the review has been completed.”
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Story Credit: thesun.co.uk