"This book ban is a symptom of the prison service’s growing reliance on commercial labour contracts. Prisons now house low-skilled ‘prison industries’, factories where inmates are pressured to work for pay rates that are exempt from national minimum wage regulation (most earn little more than £10 a week. Yes, a week).
Last year, 9,700 prisoners were employed in these industries, working a total of 13.1 million hours, their cheap labour generating vast profits for the companies contracting them. That was roughly 10% of the total prison population, leaving much room for future expansion of this malleable labour resource.
As they are offered no rights, next to no pay and mundane work under prison conditions, the penal system must create incentive structures that push people into work, increasing the pool of cheap labour available for commercial contracts.
The ban, and wider scheme, therefore operate as a means to galvanise the prison population into these lucrative production lines. By forcing prisoners to pay for basic goods that were formerly free, Grayling is creating a disciplinary regime that compels prisoners to work in prison industries to find resources."
— Earning their keep: The book ban and contemporary prisons
Statistically speaking, Edison is rare, but not unique. She summed it up best with a tweet: “Please keep Toronto Airport customs/immigration officials in your thoughts, as this is apparently their first time meeting a trans person.” And this is in Canada, which we’re told has some of the best rights for LGBT people in the world. That this could happen there, of all places, gives you a taste of how harrowing travel can be for transgender people.
Supposedly progressive Denmark put transgender asylum seeker Fernanda Milan in a male detention centre in 2012 – where her medical treatment was stopped and she was repeatedly raped. If you respect the rights of transgender women you don’t put them in men’s prisons, regardless of their genital status. And if Canada and Denmark treat trans people like this, what do you think it’s like elsewhere?
Avery Edison: how could Canada consider sending a trans woman to a male prison?
Good article by Paris Lees (though it chats about Avery’s junk more than I’d want if I were Avery).