|Life Imprisonment An Unofficial Guide
£9.95 Waterside Press
By now everyone has read the sensationalistic mail online article “Violent inmate who tortured his step-mother’s brother then boasted about freebies in prison is given £10,000 sex change on the NHS” about Sarah Baker, a transgender prisoner serving life for resisting a child rapist who was preying on her behind bars.
In all fairness the article does make a effort to properly inform but not before repeatably misgendering her despite acknowledging her desire to be called Sarah, positioning her medically mandated surgery as a frivolous unwarranted expense and calling her a “Violent violin playing thug”. All of which has garnered Mail on line hundreds of shares comments as of this posting.
Can you say pandering to violence prone right wing thugs?
So lets for the sake of it, take a less condemning look at Sarah. She was originally jailed at age 19 after spending her youth incarcerated in juvenile detention centers. It’s not all Rosy. She escaped open prison in 2007, spent 100 days on the lamb and fathered a child with a former pen pal during that time.
The daily mail makes a point to mention Baker said prison was agreeable to her in a 2009 Telegraph article. This sort of bravado in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity is the same thing that I, like many other trans people displayed when we used hyper masculinity to mask our true selves while serving in the military.
For a inside look I read another article about Sarah’s current Pen pal. It was published today sans the sensationalistic headlines and unsurprisingly has receive few shares or comments as of this posting.
“Mrs Stockwell, 74, started writing to Baker when she was volunteering with probation more than 20 years ago and now feels like she is “a second son”. She feels that she is a new person and deserves chance.” Mrs Stockwell helped Sarah publish her first book and is helping with the next one and feels she is a changed person who deserves a chance.
So who is Sarah, a undeserving inhuman thug as the Mail online would have us to believe? This Is Croydon today.co.uk shows us her human side in a interview let her speak about the conditions she is facing now:
Social skills are not taught. If you’re chucked out at 40 with barely anything in your pocket, how are you going to survive?
“The thought of being released terrifies me and I would find it easier to be left here.
“At least we know what to expect here – what will I do, die alone in a bedsit?
“However, 25 years is enough. I have hurt people but I want to do something positive.”
The violin player added: “The London Chamber Orchestra have said I can work for them if I am released.”
Her next opportunity to appear before a panel will be in October this year