Metro-East News

Transgender inmate sues IDOC, alleges mistreatment in Southern Illinois men’s facility

Strawberry Hampton, legally known as Deon Hampton, is a transgender woman suing the Illinois Department of Corrections in order to be held at a women’s prison.
Strawberry Hampton, legally known as Deon Hampton, is a transgender woman suing the Illinois Department of Corrections in order to be held at a women’s prison.

A transgender woman incarcerated at the Dixon Correctional Facility is again suing the state’s Department of Corrections to be housed in a women’s prison after alleging she has suffered verbal and physical abuse in several facilities.

Strawberry Hampton, formerly known as Deon Hampton, first settled a lawsuit in January. As part of the settlement, Hampton was moved to the Lawrence Correctional Center, where other transgender inmates live, The Southern Illinoisan reported.

Lawrence Correctional is about 120 miles east of Belleville, and Hampton’s current prisoner civil rights case is being heard in East St. Louis U.S. District Court for Southern Illinois. Her complaint says “the situation (did) not get any better” at the Lawrence facility and that she was then transferred to Dixon as she filed a new lawsuit.

Dixon Correctional Facility is about 100 miles west of Chicago.

Hampton alleges she was verbally harassed and was attacked by male prisoners and guards while in custody at the Lawrence Correctional Center and the other facilities where she has been housed.

“Officers failed to protect (Hampton) from two different prisoners who sexually assaulted her and threatened to rape her,” the complaint said of her treatment at Dixon.

Court documents filed by Hampton’s lawyer say the IDOC had 28 transgender women in its 24 male correctional facilities and not one in a women’s prison.

“This leads me to believe that not only has IDOC failed to make a good faith effort to appropriately classify Ms. Hampton, but that it has failed to meaningfully implement the PREA Standard regarding the classification of transgender people in their system in general,” wrote Dan Pacholke, a law professor retained by Hampton’s attorney.

Hampton has been in prison since April 2015 and is serving 10 years for residential burglary in Cook County.

Mary Cooley: 618-239-2535, @MaryCooleyBND
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