[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 4 February 2007, 10:16 GMT
Transsexual prisoner victimised
Whitemoor Prison
Whitemoor Prison is home to Category A and B prisoners
A rapist serving time in one of Britain's toughest jails claims he is being victimised by staff and inmates because he is a male transsexual.

Jessica Martina Winfield, formerly known as Martin, is being assessed for "gender reassignment" at top-security Whitemoor prison in Cambridgeshire.

He wrote to a prisoners' newspaper to ask when anti-discrimination rules will be changed to protect transsexuals.

A Prison Service spokeswoman advised Winfield to lodge a complaint.

In the letter to Inside Time, Winfield wrote: "Unfortunately there is a minority of staff and inmates that give me a hard time because of my sexuality, possibly through lack of understanding and empathy.

I have changed my name to that of a female to prove to the authorities and everyone concerned that I am very serious about my gender and that I do not feel right being a man
Transsexual prisoner Jessica Martina Winfield

"So not only do I have the problem of dealing with serious emotional issues surrounding my gender reassignment sex change but also added pressures and issues due to comments and abuse from certain individuals."

Winfield added: "I work in the main kitchens here at Whitemoor and the majority of staff and management, along with most inmates, have been extremely supportive. The same on my wing.

"I have changed my name to that of a female to prove to the authorities and everyone concerned that I am very serious about my gender and that I do not feel right being a man.

"I feel like a female trapped in a male body."

She went on to ask when the Home Office policy unit will be amending the Sexual and Racial Discrimination Act policy to protect transsexual prisoners from abuse.

Discrimination

A Prison Service spokeswoman said: "The Prison Service is committed to ensuring all prisoners are treated fairly and equally, no matter what their colour, race, religion or sexual orientation. "Any individual who believes that they have been the victim of discrimination or bullying whilst in prison service custody should make a complaint and it will be thoroughly investigated by the prison."


SEE ALSO
Prisoners complain of race abuse
30 Jan 06 |  Cambridgeshire
Inmates quizzed after jail blast
11 Aug 05 |  Cambridgeshire
Jail locked down after explosion
11 Aug 05 |  Cambridgeshire
Prison staff 'watched daytime TV'
27 Jun 06 |  Cambridgeshire

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific