written by: Anonymous

NOTE: This is one of many testimonies regarding institutional capture, given to me by employees, students and service users in various sectors across the UK. See this page for more examples.

I have taught fifteen minutes, with microphones and recording off,  about trans people in the criminal justice system (victims and offenders, what we don’t know, what we historically knew, what we can’t assert, what the important questions are) because it’s utterly bloody vital.

Junior academic. Crime. Unable to teach about trans people in the criminal justice system (cjs) in any sense, because my department is utterly intersectional at all levels. Trans women in prison? Can’t teach it. Can’t even teach about our ignorances, such as “we can have no reliable crime recording stats because a GRC means we cannot access the underlying data.” Or even about problematic stats – “yes, many transwomen in prison are sexual offenders, it may also be that this is not a full representation of the population because there are both reasons not to disclose gender nonconformity AND clear reasons for imprisoned sex offenders to claim that they are trans.”

When I was doing my postgrad/doctorate, core learning was that the main predictors of offending were sex and age. I’m not even sure our students know that. In law, rape requires a penis. So all “female” rapists are….? If there’s ever a chuffing field – beyond literal biology / medicine – where sex transparently matters, its crime. Yet where’s the literature? Handful of papers on inadequate access to gender affirming healthcare. That’s it. 

I have taught fifteen minutes, with microphones and recording off,  about trans people in the cjs (victims and offenders, what we don’t know, what we historically knew, what we can’t assert, what the important questions are) because it’s utterly bloody vital. We’re teaching next generation police officers, prison officers, probation officers. And they get nothing. Even worse, we can’t even safely teach about biological sex, because neither the students nor the staff understand what we’re talking about or what terms mean what, and even if every study to date has identified male violence and criminality as the problem, did those studies separate out trans women? 

It becomes impossible, and seriously career threatening, to hold a position that is not full on kool aid.

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