Free Taylor!

Taylor is a prisoner in England and member of the IWW. This page shares more info about him and how people can support him.

About Taylor

Taylor is a trans prisoner serving an IPP sentence. He has served over 10 years in prison and has been through all the abuses the prison system can subject someone to.

IPP (Imprisonment for Public Protection) is a type of sentencing that was introduced in 2005 and meant that people would be sentenced to an initial ‘tariff’ (minimum time that must be served) and, after that point, their release would be decided by the parole board. This means that IPP prisoners have NO definite release date.

IPP sentences were abolished in 2012, but not retrospectively, which means there are still more than 3500 people in prison with no release date who are effectively serving life sentences for minor crimes. Learn more about IPP sentences here.

Taylor has asked IWOC to share his full story so people know what the prison system is like and work to resist transphobia, which has shaped his life and led to this sentence.

Taylor’s Story

Taylor is a transmasc prisoner who has served over 10 years in prison as part of an indeterminate sentence which has effectively created a life sentence for minor crimes.

Taylor wanted to share more about his life story to help raise awareness of trans prisoners and what happens when the medical system pathologises trans people.

Growing up, Taylor was subject to years of physical, sexual and psychological abuse from his Mother and Step-Father. He managed to escape and be adopted by his grandparents as an early teenager, however, he would often return to visit his family desperate for love and validation, but was met with neither. This intense pattern of trauma has followed him forever. Unfortunately, on his sentence, both his adopted parents died and as a result he has lost his main support network. The grief has been insurmountable and he has been unable to heal due to being locked in a cell and unable to visit their graves or process his grief fully.

Taylor always knew he was a man. He went to a local doctor as a young teenager and expressed his feelings and issues with his assigned gender. The doctor pathologised Taylor as ‘unstable’ and denied any access to hormones or any surgery. This was over 30 years ago and access to hormones online or other support groups was nigh on impossible. Before prison, Taylor had never met another trans person. The combination of childhood abuse and gender dysphoria led to drug and alcohol abuse, as well as a long-term pattern of self-harm. Taylor became an addict, and as a working class person with no financial means, crime was the only option to sustain his habit. This led Taylor to a very self-destructive life, including many abusive relationships and actions that he deeply regrets. Taylor accessed many mental health services, however, none of them affirmed Taylor’s gender identity or needs and he was repeatedly pathologised, hospitalised and imprisoned.

Taylor’s experience in prison

The long-term imprisonment with no end-date has slowly destroyed Taylor’s mental health. He has attempted suicide multiple times, including slitting his own throat and taking an overdose that led him to being in a coma.

The IPP works by a prisoner serving an initial tariff, after which they have a Parole Board hearing. The Parole Board decide whether to free that prisoner, or to recommend them for ‘open’ (category D) conditions, psychiatric imprisonment or a rehab, for example. They can also decide if a prisoner must stay in prison for longer and recommend certain things, like courses for the prisoner to complete. The outside Probation Service and Offender Managers within the prison create reports that make recommendations and prisoners are also often subject to various risk assessments or psychological reports.

At each board hearing, new ‘hoops’ can be created that the prisoner may need to then jump through. For example, a prisoner might do everything the Parole Board directs and then two years later at the next hearing, the Parole Board might say “you still need to address X behaviour and therefore do X course.” This leads to a continual process of imprisonment where goal posts are repeatedly moved. The uncertainty, frustration and lack of power leads to prisoner behaviour deteriorating, whether that is increased drug use, self-harm or kicking off in protest. The UK has the highest rate of prisoner suicide in the world and this can largely be attributed to this IPP sentence and the damage it causes to human beings trapped in the system.

During his sentence, Taylor has had inconsistent communication from his Probation Officers and the Parole Board. He was told he needed a year of one-to-one psychotherapy before release. After being on a waiting list for more than 18 months, he finally began therapy in HMP Holloway. Soon after the Government announced its closure and once again, he was moved to another prison and was back on the waiting list. Taylor then had therapy in HMP Send and outside probation indicated they would recommend him for release in 12 months following his next parole board hearing.

Taylor was then subjected to a psychiatric assessment that intensively interrogated them and made them disclose in detail his history of abuse and neglect. It was then recommended, instead of freedom where he could finally grieve and heal from the state violence he has experienced, that he has to complete even more courses that have been added to his sentence plan. If he does them, this would mean at least another four years in prison. The psychiatric assessment that was ordered took 3 years to organise, once again greatly lengthening Taylor’s time in prison. Several of his Parole hearings have been delayed between 8 and 18 months. The whole system is in disarray and somehow Taylor is expected to comply and not express distress in any form. Any suicide attempts or recorded self-harming episodes are used as evidence that he is not fit to be released. He is effectively being imprisoned because of being mentally unwell due to lifelong trauma, transphobia and the long-term effects of incarceration. The prison service fails to recognise that these IPP sentences are what are driving people to self-harm, suicide and ultimately, to ‘madness’.

The longer he is in prison, the worse Taylor’s health deteriorates. He has had many physical health issues, including going through hepatitis C treatment, numerous cancer scares and having a large hernia which has gone untreated for several years and is now too large to operate. Taylor is now recovering from brain damage caused by seizures and being in a coma. During this important recovery time after release from hospital, the prison service punished him for a positive drug test taken before his hospitalisation. It was his first positive drug test in his sentence and yet they still subjected him to segregation and closed conditions despite being an incredibly high risk for seizures and barely being able to tie his shoe laces or write letters due to his brain recovery. IWOC believes Taylor’s death due to neglect in the prison system is simply a matter of time unless he secures his freedom through a successful parole hearing. The stakes continue to grow.

Taylor’s Transition

During the one-to-one psychotherapy in prison, Taylor once again disclosed his feelings about his gender. This time the professional encouraged him to re-engage with transitioning. The Governor has approved access to a binder yet no confirmation has been received that they have referred him to a Gender Identity Clinic as promised.

Due to his decade-long imprisonment, Taylor has been unable to access the services of a Gender Identity Clinic independently, and therefore we are now trying to raise £6500 so that Taylor can have top surgery privately upon his release. Even knowing that the surgery is a possibility on release, is a huge motivator to stay alive and fight for freedom.

Receiving letters and support from the trans community around the world has been incredible for Taylor. He has never experienced such love, care and solidarity before.

What you can do

  • Share the fundraiser on your networks, and organise fundraising events in solidarity. If you would like to host a talk about Taylor or the wider prison system or trans prisoners please contact us at
  • Write to Taylor! Receiving cards and letters in the post really helps to boost Taylors mental health and well being and lets him know that people are thinking about him. Receiving post could also potentially support Taylor in his parole hearing as he can show that he has the support of people outside.

Taylor loves animals. He used to rescue dogs and especially loves staffies. He loves the ocean and grew up by the sea. He also loves tattoos and piercings. Please take five minutes of your time to write Taylor a card. You have no idea what this will mean to him. Write to:

Claire Taylor A7974AX
HMP Downview
Sutton Lane