Transgender woman loses legal appeal over men's prison stint

AP News
Posted: Oct 30, 2015 1:53 PM

LONDON (AP) — A transgender British woman jailed in a men's prison lost an appeal of her sentence Friday, but judges urged the prison service to consider moving her to a women's facility.

Tara Hudson, who has lived as a woman all her adult life, was sentenced last week to 12 weeks in prison for head-butting a bar manager.

The 26-year-old makeup artist was sent to HMP Bristol, a men's prison in southwest England, where her lawyer, Nicholas Wragg, said she was separated from other inmates and "locked in a cell 23 hours a day."

Wragg argued she should be released to do community service.

Three judges at Bristol Crown Court rejected Hudson's appeal against the sentence, noting that she had eight previous convictions.

The judges said it was "for the prison service and not the court" to decide where the sentence should be served, but urged "sensitive consideration" of where Hudson should be held.

The Prison Service said it was "longstanding policy to place offenders according to their legally recognized gender." Hudson has had gender reassignment surgery but is still legally classified as male.

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The service said its guidelines allowed "room for discretion and in such cases, medical experts will review the circumstances in order to protect the emotional well-being of the person concerned."

The Press Association news agency and other British media, citing government sources, said that following the court ruling, Hudson was being moved to a facility for women. The Prison Service said it could not comment on individual cases.