London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Isla Bryson case: Movement of violent transgender prisoners paused

Isla Bryson case: Movement of violent transgender prisoners paused

The prison service will carry out an urgent review after trans rapist Isla Bryson was placed in a women's jail.

He said an "urgent review" into the case of a trans woman convicted of raping two women before changing gender will also be carried out.

There was a public outcry when Isla Bryson was initially remanded to Cornton Vale women's prison.

She was later moved to a men's jail.

Further concerns were raised by the case of Tiffany Scott, previously known as a man called Andrew Burns, who had an application to move to a women's prison approved.

She has a history of violence and is serving an order for lifelong restriction, meaning she will only be released when she is no longer considered an "unmanageable risk to public safety".

Critics argued vulnerable women prisoners, many of whom were victims of male violence, were being placed at risk.

Justice Secretary Keith Brown said the "urgent lessons learned review" into the Bryson case would be completed by Friday.

The prison service was already undertaking a wider review of its transgender policy, which will continue.

Until that ends, Mr Brown said:

*  No transgender person already in custody with a history of violence against women will be moved from the male to female estate

*  No newly convicted or remanded transgender prisoner with any history of violence against women (including sexual offences) will be placed in the female estate.

Any exceptional cases will require the approval of Scottish ministers, he said.

Bryson was convicted of rapes carried out while she was known as Adam Graham


"I understand that the issue of any trans woman being convicted of violent and sexual offences is a highly emotive subject and that the public concern is understandable," Mr Brown said.

"As the first minister pointed out last week, we must not allow any suggestion to take root that trans women pose an inherent threat to women.

"Predatory men are the risk to women. However, as with any group in society, a small number of trans women will offend and be sent to prison.

"Therefore, I hope that the measures.... will offer reassurance in the ongoing ability of the prison service to manage trans individuals and ensure the safety of all prisoners."

The move is likely to affect only a small proportion of inmates - about 0.2% of the total prison population in Scotland.

According to the latest Scottish Prison Service statistics, there were 11 trans women, four trans men and three non-binary/gender fluid prisoners between July and September 2022.

There were 7,092 male prisoners and 280 female inmates.


The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) has previously said the decision on where to accommodate transgender prisoners was taken on a case-by-case basis, after thorough risk assessments.

Mr Brown said it was vital that this continued.

An SPS spokesperson confirmed the urgent review had begun.

They said the review would consider any history of violence or sexual offending against women, and any associated risk they pose.

"Until the review is completed, any trans individuals, with a history of violence towards women, will only be admitted to the male estate, in segregation, when they first enter our care," they added.

"This arrangement will be progressed in line with our human rights obligations.

"Finally, our ongoing policy review will be independently assessed by experts in women affected by trauma and violence."

Cornton Vale women's prison is due to close soon, to be replaced by a new jail - HMP Stirling


Scottish Conservative MSP Russell Findlay said: "After much dithering and flip-flopping, the SNP government has finally been shamed into doing the right thing.

"Just days ago, the justice secretary tried to pass the buck, saying decisions on trans prisoners were for the Scottish Prison Service.

"But as public anger escalated, Nicola Sturgeon was forced to intervene by ordering the removal of a double rapist from a women's prison.

"It should not have taken a second shocking case for them to ban all transfers. The long overdue SPS policy review must now be completed as a matter of urgency."

He called for a full investigation by Holyrood's criminal justice committee to investigate how Bryson ended up in a women's prison.

Scottish Labour's justice spokeswoman Pauline NcNeill said: "The safety of women and women prisoners is of paramount concern, and it's welcome to see Mr Brown finally recognise that.

"The SNP have been aware of the failures of the current policy in this area since it was agreed in 2014, it should not have taken this level of public outcry to do the right thing.

"The Scottish government now needs to change the policy which they oversaw and to bring forward guidance which take account of the views of woman prisoners as a matter of urgency to make sure this does not happen again."

Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
0:00
Close
World Court Orders Immediate Halt to Israeli Offensive in Gaza
Understanding FLiRT COVID Variants and Their Impact
Baltic NATO Members to Construct 'Drone Wall'
Global Life Expectancy Dropped By 2 Years Due To COVID-19
Macron Halts New Caledonia Voting Reform After Riots
Rishi Sunak Shelves Rwanda and Smoking Policies Ahead of Election
US Refuses World Court Jurisdiction
China Conducts Surprise Military Drills Around Taiwan
Grim Polls Predict Major Loss for PM Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak's Campaign for UK Election: Key Issues Highlighted
German Property Crisis Worsens as Foreign Investment Declines
Princess of Wales's Taskforce Calls for Business Investment in Early Childhood
Campaign Groups Condemn UK Report on Protests
Former Royal Marine Charged with Espionage Found Dead
Australian PM Calls for Julian Assange's Freedom
ICC Seeks Arrest Warrants for Israeli and Hamas Leaders
UK's Infected Blood Scandal: Conclusion Nears After Seven Years
Julian Assange Granted Right to Challenge US Extradition
Congo Army Thwarts Attempted Coup Involving Americans and a British Citizen
Ireland's Homeless Gain Voting Rights
Blinken orders crackdown on Israel-Hamas leaks
Julian Assange Faces US Extradition: Key Facts
Jacob Zuma Takes Campaign to ANC Stronghold Soweto
Attempted Assassination of Slovakia PM Robert Fico: Investigation Ongoing
What Happens If an Iranian President Dies in Office?
Spain Recalls Ambassador After Argentina President's Remarks
Rishi Sunak Faces Cabinet Backlash Over Proposed Changes to Foreign Student Visas
Rwanda Denies Entry to Human Rights Researcher
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Reportedly Killed in Helicopter Crash
Blue Origin Resumes Space Tourism with 90-Year-Old Ed Dwight
Rishi Sunak and Wife Akshata Murty Wealthier Than King Charles
New Dutch Government Drives Wedge Through EU Liberals
Iranian President Raisi Missing After Helicopter Goes Down
Freemasons and ‘Global War Party’ Accused of Conspiring Against Georgia
Poland Supports Rolls-Royce's Nuclear Power Plant Initiative
European Ports Overflow with Unsold Electric Vehicles
Esprit Files for Bankruptcy in Europe, Putting Hundreds of Jobs at Risk
Chevron Halts North Sea Drilling Amid Rising Tax Burden
Jeremy Hunt Accused of Exaggerating Conservatives' Economic Record
Victoria Atkins Discusses Historical Gender Bias in the NHS
Dublin and Monaghan Bombings 50th Anniversary: Calls for Justice
Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murty’s Wealth Rises to £651 Million
New Caledonia Riots Escalate After French Voting Rights Change
Renters Face Fierce Competition as Listing Times Shrink
Surge in Fake Science: 19 journals shut down due to fraudulent papers from 'paper mills'
Global Birthrates Decline, Raising Economic and Social Concerns
Boeing Faces Possible Prosecution Over 737 MAX Settlement Violation
Prisoner Escapes in France as Two Officers Killed in Van Ambush
German Court Rules AfD Can Be Monitored for Extremism
Jacob Rees-Mogg Criticizes Bank of England’s Inflation Strategy
×