Prison blasted as HMP Woke after 'gender pronoun' badges issued to inmates

HMP Isle of Wight, as part of its Inclusion week, has unveiled purple badges which display pronouns for different gender identities. It is unclear whether the badges are for prisoners or for staff.

Announcing the initiative on Twitter, HMP Isle of Wight’s equalities team said they would hand out the badges.

The badges include a mix of non-binary gender identity pronouns, as well as one that reads: “Ask me!”

In a tweet the prison said: “In preparation for National Inclusion Week our equalities team have started distributing pronoun badges. What’s your pronoun?”

The tweet went on to use a series of hashtags including “inclusion”, “equality”, ”diversity” and “united for inclusion”.

Tim Loughton, the Tory MP who chairs the Commons home affairs committee, accused HMP Isle of Wight of “pandering” to serious criminals.

He told The Daily Telegraph: “Oh dear so now woke has broken into prison too.

“There is a real problem in this country with getting sex offenders convicted and behind bars in the first place so the last thing we need to be pandering to is making sure serious criminals have their personal pronouns respected.

“They are in jail to be punished and rehabilitated and this will further undermine the confidence of the survivors of sexual attacks who have already been put through enough trauma by their attackers and then again having to relive those experiences in court.”

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Displaying pronouns can help people avoid ‘hurtful’ misgendering, according to charity Stonewall.

HMP Isle of Wight is a high-security men’s jail across two sites with more than 1,000 inmates – including sex offenders.

The prison is well-known for housing paedophile Gary Glitter and the Kray twins.

The Government’s guidance on the prison says: “Isle of Wight is committed to providing a safe, secure and decent rehabilitative environment where men can learn new skills to help them in custody and on release.”


It comes after the the Parole Board published a document in March called “Guidance on Prisoners who are Transgender”.

The document advised parole panel members to check prisoners’ preferred “form of name and term of address.”

It said: “This may require confirming at the appropriate point during introductions how the prisoner wishes to be addressed in the hearing, then using the chosen name and gender-appropriate form of address.”

The document said that should a panel member refer to somebody by the wrong pronoun “an immediate, simple apology is appropriate”.

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