The Downview Prison in South London will open this week the first transgender ‘jail within a jail’ – this is reported to be a first for Europe, The Sunday Times reports. The unit, which will only house trans inmates, had previously been named after Josephine Butler, a Victorian feminist. The Sunday Times reports that Downview is a women’s jail, with one source claiming ‘significant concern’ among its 320 female prisoners at the arrival of male-bodied trans inmates. The first three residents are expected to arrive this week.
Mike Reynolds, who was until recently deputy chairman of Downview’s independent monitoring board, said there are 15 single cells within the unit, and one two-bedded cell.While a few American big-city jails have transgender wings, it is believed that Downview’s could be the first in Europe. According to the Ministry of Justice, three transgender prisoners with gender recognition certificates would initially be housed in the new wing and would not have access to other offenders in the prison.
Photo Credit: PA