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University forced to cancel conference on prison reform after transgender activists issue threats

Open University in Milton Keynes, England,  canceled  a prison reform conference after transgender activism lobby groups issued threats ...

Open University in Milton Keynes, England, canceled a prison reform conference after transgender activism lobby groups issued threats against the event.

What are the details?

The school and the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies co-organized the conference, which was set to take place in May.

More than 100 people had purchased tickets for the event, which was set to span two days.

According to the Telegraph, the school told attendees that the conference was called off in March after trans activist groups said that the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies was transphobic for its stance on segregating the housing of trans female prisoners and biologically female prisoners.

A source told the outlet, "The Open University faced quite a significant pressure from transgender activists. They received a number of emails where some of the language was extraordinarily overheated."

The source added, "They were effectively being threatened with demonstrations and disruptive activity, possibly in the conference hall itself, and some kind of picket line or protest outside the conference."

In a statement, the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies said, "We are saddened to announce that the conference, Prison Abolition in the U.K., planned for 23 and 24 May, has been cancelled."

"Unfortunately, one of our conference partners has, in recent weeks, been subjected to concerted pressure by those intent on disrupting the conference," the statement added. "In the circumstances, they felt they had no option but to pull out."
A spokesperson for the university said that the decision was made over concerns that the discussion "was moving away from its main, originally intended, focus — to debate past, present, and future of prison abolition."

What else?

In March, England's first transgender prison wing opened for men identifying as women after reports of vicious sexual assaults forced the government change policies for trans inmates.

"Prisoner safety is our biggest concern and any decisions we take will seek to best manage the risks posed by each offender," a statement from a British Ministry of Justice spokesperson said. "The wider management of transgender offenders is a highly sensitive issue which poses unique and complex challenges and we are determined to get it right. That's why we are reviewing the way we manage all transgender offenders."

The government handed down a suggested directive calling for a majority of trans inmates to be incarcerated in prisons according to their preferred gender identity in 2016 after a male inmate identifying as a female raped two fellow female prisoners while incarcerated.

1 comment

  1. Somebody call an electrician. You can't tell the ACs from the DCs.