An LGBT prison guide in which a trans woman blamed their violent crimes is helping inmates “shirk their legal responsibilities,” critics say.
Officials were also charged with violating the Civil Service Act after it was revealed. The Gender Identity Toolkit for Prison and Probation Officers accuses “Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERFs)” and “gender critical feminists” of being “the driving force of anti-trans hate in the UK”.
On Saturday night, a source close to Justice Minister Alex Chalk said the minister has ordered an urgent inquiry into how the toolkit was published and stressed that the views expressed in the document do not represent the position of ministers .
The toolkit, titled “Understanding and Working with Trans, Intersex and Non-Binary Individuals” and published on the Department of Justice (MoJ) intranet in March 2023, alleges that newspapers, including The Telegraph, are “distributing malicious information to promote fear and incite hatred’. anyone with a minority gender identity”.
The manual contains descriptions of the “lived experiences” of transgender prisoners, also known as “service users”, and prison staff.
One ex-con who admits serving 17 years in prison said: “I finally understood I was transgender and came out when I was 10.”
“Unfortunately, they did not accept it and the following years were accompanied by a lot of instability and physical and emotional abuse.”
“This resulted in me internalizing all my frustration and anger and lashing out at others. This resulted in me seriously hurting two people and being sent to prison.”
‘Nonsense awake advice’
Iain Duncan Smith, the Conservative MP, told The Telegraph: “This toolkit seems to be about taking it easy on a prisoner who is using the trans issue to blame others for their crime.”
“There is no excuse for violent crimes that result in 17 years in prison.”
“This is another bit of nonsense, awake advice that helps criminal offenders evade their legal responsibilities in favor of their supposed rights.”
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the former leader of the House of Commons, said: “For a diversity network in the Justice Department to promote the ‘lived experience’ of a prisoner refusing to take responsibility for his serious and violent crimes is a mockery of the legal system. ”
“These extremists must not promote their radical ideology with taxpayers’ money and ministers must prevent such political messages from officials.
“It’s time this administration stopped funding Whitehall’s awakened propaganda.”
Helen Joyce, advocacy director for campaign group Sex Matters, said: “Officials who attack gender-critical voices and mainstream newspapers for spreading ‘hate’ and ‘malicious information’ in official documents are not only violating their legal duty to be impartial and political. neutral, but offensive to the vast majority of the British public, and I suspect MoJ officials who believe in biological reality.”
“It is deeply concerning that this official toolkit has been made available to prison staff and suggests that ministers are not having a good grip on their departments.”
The guideline was compiled in September 2020 by Pride in Prison & Probation (PIPP), an MoJ network for LGBT personnel.
The document, which is more than 16,000 words long, claims to be “suitable to accompany the official policy framework and guidance as an explanation.”
Prison staff are told that “it is always best to ask someone which pronouns they prefer”, which includes, in addition to male and female pronouns, the so-called “neopronouns”, “Ze”, “Zir”, “Xe ” and “Xyrs”.
Examples of the use of these pronouns are included, such as “Hir/zir eyes twinkle,” “Xyr eyes twinkle,” and “That’s xyrs.”
Misgendering is described as “not only disrespectful but deeply offensive” and features a cartoon of two adults looking at a baby with the caption, “What a cute… baby. What is his name?”
Newspapers and magazines criticized
In a section titled “Recognizing Discrimination,” officials are told that “malicious information” about transgender people “is most prevalent in newspapers, which are important sources of information for service users.” [prisoners]”, with headlines quoted from The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Sun, The Mirror and The Economist.
The document describes “key features of these reports and malicious information” and includes claims “that trans extremists/activists are trying to remove gendered terms,” “trans rights are eroding women/lesbian rights” and “that supporting trans children child abuse”.
In an earlier section of the document, staff are told that they “try to avoid using gendered language and instead use neutral terms such as partner”.
The controversial group of trans children, Mermaids, is promoted twice in the toolkit and described as “a charity that supports young people and their families” that “also works to raise awareness of gender nonconformity in children”.
Label a “genderbread person”
In September 2022, the Charity Commission launched an investigation into Mermaids for failing management and governance after it was revealed that the charity had been sending coffin binders to young teenagers without their parents’ consent.
The toolkit urges workplaces to use “touch-point mapping,” defined as “looking end-to-end at the touchpoints someone has with your workplace and analyzing them to identify how they indicate an LGBTI+ inclusive attitude.”
Prison staff are asked if there is “anything in the reception rooms that indicates LGBTI+ friendliness, such as a rainbow window sticker upon entry?” or “a clear equality and diversity statement that mentions sexual orientation and gender identity?”
Similarly, waiting rooms should be equipped with “posters with positive images and statements about LGBTI+ people”.
Officials are tested on their knowledge of the topics covered in the document by being asked to label a ‘genderbread person’ with symbols that ‘indicate the characteristics that make up the identity’.
They are also asked to identify six LGBT flags, including the genderfluid, agender, and genderqueer flags.
A Justice Department spokesperson said: “This is an old guide prepared by a network of agency staff – its content was not properly approved before being communicated, it does not represent the views of the Department or Government , and the Lord Chancellor has requested that a review of this Office publication be urgently ordered.”
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