GENDER: Sturgeon’s new trans prisoner policy a ‘con’

Shocking lack of analysis in this whitewash review, claims Tory community safety minister

By Bill Heaney

The Scottish Conservatives have said that the SNP’s latest policy on sending transgender criminals to women’s prisons is a “con” since it only applies to where prisoners are initially held.

The party have today also urged justice secretary Keith Brown to publish the full and un-redacted report into the scandal of how double rapist Isla Bryson, formerly Adam Graham, was sent to a women’s prison.

Shadow community safety minister Russell Findlay MSP criticised the SNP’s decision to only release a review of the Scottish Prison Service’s internal report into the scandal.

Shadow community safety minister Russell Findlay and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The review, which was released yesterday and has been branded a ‘whitewash’, reveals that the SPS has changed its policy on trans prisoners so that they will “initially” be housed in a prison corresponding with their sex at birth.

However, it leaves open the possibility that they will be moved to a women’s prison after that initial placement.

Speaking about the review, the former governor of Cornton Vale women’s prison, Rhona Hotchkiss, said it is shocking that it contained no analysis about the decision to send Bryson to a women’s prison.

She told Good Morning Scotland: “There was one huge, important factor missing in this and there doesn’t seem to have been any root cause analysis done into how we got into the state…that led the prison service to put a double rapist in Cornton Vale.”  

Russell Findlay MSP said: “After a series of embarrassing and chaotic U-turns, Nicola Sturgeon still hasn’t got this right.

“The SNP are making it up as they go along and their new policy is a blatant con since it only addressed where criminals will initially be placed. It leaves open the possibility that they could still then be transferred to a women’s prison.

“As the former Cornton Vale governor said, there is a shocking lack of analysis in this whitewash review.

“The SNP don’t want to answer the question that we all need to know the answer to – why was this double rapist sent to a women’s prison in the first place?

“But this is not going away. Nicola Sturgeon must publish the full un-redacted report so the public can see exactly what went wrong.”

Russell Findlay added this to his earlier comments on Friday afternoon. He said: “As expected, this whitewash summary tells us nothing of any substance.

“We still have no idea why a double rapist was sent into a women’s prison or what involvement SNP ministers had in his removal following the public backlash.

“Given the widespread concern and anger, this report should have been published and in full, not just some woolly summary.

“It is an affront to Bryson’s victims that the prison service is pandering to this rapist’s right as justification for their refusal to publish.

“This is typical of SNP secrecy and raises more questions than answers. It is clear that this shoddy stunt is part of the ongoing exercise in damage limitation for Nicola Sturgeon – not a sincere attempt to learn lessons.”

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