On 5 December 2015, The Bent Bars Collective released a statement following the deaths of two transwomen in prison.
In summary, the statement says
We are heartened by the public response of concern in the aftermath of these women’s deaths. Too often, issues faced by prisoners are neglected, ignored or sensationalised in the media. So it is crucial that the wider public be made aware of what is happening in our prisons in order for these issues to be properly addressed. At the same time, we feel the focus of discussions needs to be widened to address larger issues surrounding the incarceration of trans* people specifically and the harms of imprisonment more generally.
This is an important moment to discuss these issues and in particular we would like to raise the following points:
- We need a public discussion about the harms caused by imprisonment.
- We need to be wary of assuming that policy change alone will be enough to address problems of transphobia and inequality within prisons.
- We need to ask why so many trans* people are in prison.
- We need to prioritise effective and meaningful alternatives to prison.
To read the statement in full, visit the Bent Bars Collective website here.