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    • October 24, 2016 7:45 AM BST
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      Asking for help

      Hello all! My name is Melissa. I live in Seattle, WA. I'm a 38 year old single female. I have 1 child, a 18 year old daughter, and I'm a full-time college student. I'm currently in my last year of school for my bachelors degree in Criminal Justice/Criminology. I'm sharing this information about myself with you all to hopefully get a little acquainted and humbly ask for some feedback from you all. And please, if you have anything you would like to ask me, please don't hesitate.

      I'm coming from a place of compassion, so I will try my best to pick my words respectfully.

      In all honesty, I don't know the least bit about what it would be like to be transgender. I know what transgender is from different sources, such as news, internet, and TV, but I don't know what the experience is like. I know there are many people who can be cruel and label transgenders as "freaks" or "sexual deviants". And that is pure ignorance, hate, and fear. I sympathize as a human being who feels and cares.

      Because of these "labels" transgenders live with and depending on what experiences each of you have had, I'm graciously asking if any of you would be able to provide feedback for me on a few criminal justice questions for one of my classes I am currently taking? I feel that you are a group of people whose opinions and thoughts should be taken seriously, especially since you are unfairly labeled. This is all anonymous, no names used. 

      What are your perceptions of sex offenders?

      Does your perception change depending on the actual crime? Why or why not?

      Does your perception change if it's an offense against a child? Why or why not?

      Due to the stigma/labels you may experience as a transgender, does this influence or impact how you perceive sexual offenders? Why or why not?

      Do you think it's beneficial for society to have sex offenders registered? Why or why not?

      Sincerely,

      Melissa

       

    • October 25, 2016 2:43 PM BST
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      The following is a copy of my answer to your question from the question section : 
      I am in complete agreement with Cristine - all forms of abuse are abominable and unacceptable to any and all walks of life - period. Both Suzy and Cristine echo a critical question and concern - why these questions? What is the premise of your research - and more importantly your thoughts and feelings on the matter? There are a number of people who wrongfully characterize transgender people as sex offenders and abusers. The sad reality is that they are often the abused which is heavily underreported. All the best in your discovery of truth - the majority of people are good in nature and this includes transgender people too - I, for one, am a transgender woman who is deeply value driven and have a good heart and rational mind that guides who I am.
       
    • April 7, 2017 11:51 PM BST
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      Hi Melissa,

       

      I work in a Cat C sex offender prison.  My perception of sex offenders?  All crime is about self.  I deserve that money more than you do.  I have a right to take what I want.  I am sick of being poor and want nice things.  You get the idea.  It is the same for sex offenders.  They are selfish and it is all about them.  They can not understand why they are in prison.  They talk about all of the injustice that they have faced and will blame anybody else for their own situation.  Rapists, for example are, as a breed, arrogant.  They can not understand why they are in prison and show little regret.  Pedos.  Yeah, about that. I had a visitor doing an observation recently.  They commented that the most frightening thing was, having visited other prisons, how nice they seemed.  So normal and friendly.  And that is how they got into prison.  They manipulate, they gain trust, they look inocent.  And that is the most frightening part.

       

      The thing is.  There are people out there who the general public need to be protected against.  They have no regret for, to quote a few NOMS files, will have kidnapped and raped under 13 year old children.  They have no compassion for the victim and feel that they are being hard done to, especially the IPP prisoners.  But at the end of the day, once you take the vengence element out of sentencing, society still needs to be protected from these people.

       

      Sex offenders register?  Damn right.  Although I would question how public this needs to be, the authorities need to keep a track of sex offenders.  There are some things that you can not rehabilitate.  So the police need to know who is in the area and who to keep an eye on.

       

      :)

    • April 8, 2017 2:36 PM BST
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          an extract, one should read the entire thread to get the gist. all to often the minority of crimes commited by transgender people are sensationalised soley because the person is transgendered, as if the reason for the crime was caused by their condition.   you dont have to be a starving transexual to steal a loaf of bread, by the same token one does not have to be a transexual to be a sexual deviant, rapist. 

       http://gendersociety.com/forums/topic/10385/privacy-and-expectations-under-the-gra-2004-amp-ehrc

      **Emotions should not be a factor in a case like this. She got what she needed a provision in law, surgery etc, and she is entitled to privacy as a transgendered person, as such she should not be ridiculed, harrased, bullied for being transgendered. BUT as a convicted rapist it goes with the ''job'' ie, racing drivers take the risk of inury by being involved in a crash, if they get hurt they accept it as part of the job they do, other drivers if they are inured by another driver who drives while drunk, thats another matter. Convicted rapist can expect to be villified, but being a transgendered person should not be alluded to regarding the crime. All to often these occasions are sensationalised by the press as if it was because a person is transgendered and that was a reason for commiting such a dastardly offence.**

      This post was edited by Cristine, Shye BL at April 8, 2017 2:38 PM BST
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      Cristine Jennifer Shye B.acc. BL (GS Admin) Tongue out

    • April 8, 2017 9:37 PM BST
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      Hi Cristine,

       

      Yeah, I read this report.  It even made it ont aunty Beeb.  The problem is that this is knee jerk journalism.  Shock horror, a rapist is getting something paid for by the tax payer.  I have an issue with this, or at least the report.  Firstly, giving the persons new name.  That is a serious no no.  The person has a right to get on with their lives once they have left the prison system.  Having served their time, they should be allowed to prove that they have learned from their mistakes and be given the chance to make ammends.

       

      There are currently about 80 transgender prisoners in the UK, with about ten in my own establishment.  I do not have the particulars of this individual case and I would not discuss them in any event.  However, a large part of being a prisoner is rehabilitation.  If the offender has gender issues that need addressing and, in so doing, thay are rehabilitated, then so be it.  I do not see the problem with the handling of this persons case.  They are still serving their original conviction, but have just been transfered to a female prison.    Also, as far as rehabilitation goes, you don't get more definate than this.  A rapist who changes gender isnt going to be commiting male rape again.  Perhaps that is not the PC answer, but.....

      That said.  Rape is about control and male dominance.  It is about having power over another.  I have trouble reconciling this with somebody who is trans.  Gender is about core identity and from what I understand, this should be something that the individual is aware of from an early age.  So how do people discover that their core identity is different in a later period after commiting a crime like this?  I don't know.  

      But that said, many of the transgender population that I deal with have discovered their true identity in prison.  So it is something that confuses me.  But that said, if you find that your core identity isn't what you thought it was, then I believe that you have the right to be yourself, as long as you don't hurt other people.  But anyway.  Rambling again.  I tend to ramble a lot.  

      Back to public perception.  According to the Sun prisons are wonderful places and that the prisoner referred to in the article must have had a jolly time at the taxpayers expense.  Yet even though I work in a relatively easy VP establishment, it is still evident that all is not well with many of the tg prison population.  The evidence is usually all over their arms where they have been self harming, or where prisoners have attempted suicide.  Some trans prisoners have even attempted DIY surgery.  So the least that I can do is offer help and compasion.  Anyway, thats my take on the question and I hope it helps.

      :)

    • April 8, 2017 9:59 PM BST
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      Alex so nice to have erudite and thoughtful people here on GS.   Gender Identity problems, are very complex, I have spent most of my adult life studying various aspect of the causes, from a clinical and mental aspect written papers and even had a thesis published,    Most older people that are now realising their needs have lived through years of supression, knowing only too well the impact, 'coming out' would have on their lives, from employment to family, friends and collegues.   A true trans person will eventually commit to a change to make the most of what time they have left, to be contented and even a modicome of hapiness.   for those of us that have inherited some clinical cause that has caused us to appear 'acceptable, and transitioned at a younger age, may have found in some way it was easier, those that have left it late, will have been accepted into society and built up a male charteristic appearance, that does not change who they are.    The common rhetoric is that if a person has been abused, they will grow into an abuser, this is something I can never understand, the logic, surely if somone has been abused, the last thing they would want to do is inflict the same suffering on someone else.

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      Cristine Jennifer Shye B.acc. BL (GS Admin) Tongue out

    • April 8, 2017 10:20 PM BST
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      Not so much a knee jerk reaction because someone got medical treatment  at great expense in prison, it was the headline, transexual rapist, alluding to transexuals, that transexuals are all violent perverts, its a damn slur against all other transexuals, I take the same view if it said vicar is pervert rapists, sensationalising it was a vicar alluding to all clergy being of the same ilk.   If another prisoner had toothache, or broke his back trying to escape, that prisoner would still be entitled to treatment, if somone is incacerated with cancer, then they would be entitled to ongoing treatment, even if they were a rapist.

      This post was edited by Cristine, Shye BL at April 8, 2017 10:23 PM BST
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      Cristine Jennifer Shye B.acc. BL (GS Admin) Tongue out

    • April 8, 2017 10:23 PM BST
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      Ki Cristine,

       

      Yeah, I wasn't impressed with the article either.  Grrr.

    • May 7, 2017 4:56 PM BST
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      What we must not do as a society is to seem to compensate criminals for something they attrempt to use as a defence for the wrongs they have done.   I find it hard to take in that a male person claiming to be a woman would violate young girls in the most horrific manner.   It is a totaly alien concept.   Would this particular instance as above be brought into contesting the prisoners right to surgery and treatment, what about men that start transitioning in prison after commiting this type of crime,   It is now reported that Ian Huntley responsible for the rape and murder of two very young schoolgirls in Soham is now making applications to transition in prison.

       

      Don't forget it is up to the government department of prisons to evaluate each individual case where a person is transitioning, the essense being on how far have they progressed in their transition prior to being incarcerated as to where they are located and what if any treatment is required, BUT does this department have expertise and competant people to evaluate the claim of a potential candidate for treatment?.

       

      A report in the newspapers last week, stated another young transexual had commited suicide in a male prison, the report did not state the nature of the crime, but it would seem that she started to transition long before she was tried and locked up.

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      Cristine Jennifer Shye B.acc. BL (GS Admin) Tongue out

    • May 7, 2017 9:42 PM BST
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      I have not seen this used as a defense.  There are prisoners who will claim to be transgender in order to gain advantages while in prison.  Single cells, individual showering and laundry, etc.  However, being transgender does not lessen their sentence.  I can not comment on the cases above and I would not talk about individual prisoners in any event.  However, there are genuine transgender prisoners who still require hormones.  That tends to be the litmus test.  The hormones.  Everything else is just window dressing.  If they declare that they are transgender then we will treat them accordingly.  Trans prisoners are given psycological and medical help.  However many trans prisoners suffer from depression and self harm.  Many have attempted suicide and the prisons are taking this seriously and, from my observations, take quite a few steps to ensure the safety and well being of these prisoners.

       

      However, medical care and extra considerations are one thing, but I am not aware of any instance where this has led to a reduction in sentence.  But I am just a small cog in the system.  

       

      Alice

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