Women employed at a male prison in Scotland have come forward to allege that they were forced to strip-search one of the nation’s most dangerous male inmates due to his transgender status, and in accordance with gender identity policies.
Tiffany Scott, 31, born Andrew Burns, is one of only around 100 offenders in Scotland subject to an Order for Lifelong Restriction (OLR). The order means that, regardless of his sentence length, he will only be released when he is no longer considered an “unmanageable risk to public safety.”
Burns was initially sentenced for multiple convictions of assaults, vandalism, and resisting arrests. In 2010, he assaulted a nurse in a hospital in Crewe, Cheshire while he was still known under his male name. In 2015, Burns assaulted prison officers, including two female staff, during a “dirty protest” at Glenochil Prison, Clackmannanshire. One of the women Burns assaulted was a jail nurse whom he struck on the back with a chair. He began identifying as transgender and changed his name to Tiffany Scott sometime in 2016.
In 2017, Burns was put on trial for the incidents that occurred while he was in prison, but the case was initially dropped as he was considered “too dangerous for the dock.” It was later re-tried after outrage from prison union officials.
In response to increased public scrutiny of the impact of gender identity policies on women’s rights, particularly in regards to the prison system, female prison officials told the Daily Record that they felt as though their rights “went out the window” when they were forced to carry out intimate strip-searches on the volatile inmate.
Female staff were obligated to conduct full body searches on Burns at HMP Low Moss, near Glasgow, after his legally recorded sex was altered from “male” to “female” in prison records. However, one insider told the press that “nothing else about Scott has changed physically,” and women officers who refused to do the searches were obligated to submit their reasons for abstaining in writing.
Despite his lengthy history of violence, Burns was approved for a transfer to a women’s correctional facility. The move was blocked after the Record revealed the intentions of the Scottish Prison Service.
One whistle-blower explained that several female prison staff have repeatedly refused to perform the searches on Burns, who has male anatomy, and voiced concerns for the safety of women employed at the prison after Burns had a “meltdown” once he learned of the prohibition of his transfer.
A Low Moss officer who chose to remain anonymous told the Record:
“This all started last summer when the PR2 system (Prisoner Records) suddenly designated Scott to be a woman, several years after changing [his] name to Tiffany Scott. Up to then a woman would not have been asked to search the lower half during a full body search, obviously because it would have been totally inappropriate to ask a woman to do that.”
“But from one day to the next it became inappropriate for male officers to do the searches – and the human rights of the female staff went out the window. It’s mad because nothing else about Scott has changed physically,” the prison insider added.
Using feminine pronouns for Burns, the officer continued: “She still has the same male parts and several women therefore refused to search Scott. They’ve been told they have to write up their reasons in a paper and submit it to bosses.”
“We keep hearing about transgender prisoners’ rights – but surely there is a bigger issue with the rights of female prison staff?”
Burns is the fourth violent male offender in Scotland to make headlines for identifying as transgender since the start of the year.
On January 15, a serial rapist who targeted women in changing rooms and restrooms had reportedly begun identifying as transgender and seeking transfer to a women’s prison. Jonathon Mallon, 40, was sentenced to life in prison in 2014 on a slew of rape charges. He has now begun referring to himself as “Charlene” and has allegedly been “bragging” that he will be in a women’s prison by the spring.
Days later, it was revealed that an incarcerated sex offender who abducted and raped his care worker had begun claiming to identify as a “woman,” and demanding cosmetics and a transfer to a women’s institution.
Albert Caballero, 50, is currently detained at Edinburgh Saughton Prison, where he has served half of his sentence and is eligible to apply for parole. But Caballero is reportedly now boasting to fellow inmates that he will be transferred to a women’s prison prior to his release after abruptly claiming a transgender identity. Now calling himself “Claire,” Caballero has been demanding red lipstick from the prison.
The shockwaves didn’t end there, as yet another violent male was green-stamped for transfer to a women’s prison awaiting sentencing on multiple convictions rape. On January 24, it was reported that Adam Graham, also known as Isla Bryson, was sent to a women’s facility. The public backlash was so severe that the Scottish government quickly walked back the decision and transferred Graham to a men’s facility.
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