The United Kingdom is struggling with the problems of adapting a criminal justice and corrections system to meet the changing world. The latest problem, LBN’s Bob Donley reports, involves Tara Hudson. Hudson’s latest encounter with the courts and prisons is the subject of this report.
Hudson was arrested in October in the city of Bath. She admitted to head-butting a bartender, who called the police. Hudson admitted the assault and was sentenced to 12 weeks in confinement. She was sent to HMP Bristol, an all-male institution, because she was legally a man.
Hudson had received treatment to change her gender, including reconstructive surgery. She has lived all of her adult life as a woman. Hudson petitioned to have her place of confinement changed, and she was subsequently moved to HMP Eastwood Park, a facility for women.
The UK has a twenty-page manual on “care and management of transsexual prisoners.” Prisoners are placed according to UK law, usually by the gender that appears on their birth certificates. There are a number of other possible considerations. Gender has become a much larger issue than it was when most laws about incarceration were written. There have been transgender problems in U.S. correctional facilities as well. The New York Times reported in April on the problems of Ashley Diamond and the criminal justice system in Georgia.
It seems likely that new problems will appear in the months and years ahead.
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