Crime

IDOC officials deny abuse allegations made in transgender inmate’s lawsuit

Transgender inmate sues Department of Corrections

A transgender inmate, currently housed at Dixon Correctional Center, is suing DOC officials. She says she has suffered physical and verbal abuse from both staff and prisoners at several facilities.
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A transgender inmate, currently housed at Dixon Correctional Center, is suing DOC officials. She says she has suffered physical and verbal abuse from both staff and prisoners at several facilities.

In a response filed Monday, IDOC officials have denied abuse allegations made by a transgender inmate regarding her treatment while incarcerated at several men’s prisons throughout Illinois.

Deon Hampton, who goes by the name Strawberry, is suing to be moved to a women’s prison to serve her 10 year sentence for burglary. She is currently incarcerated at Dixon Correctional Center.

The lawsuit states she has been “improperly housed” at men’s prisons and requests she be moved to a women’s facility.

Her lawsuit also includes abuse allegations that prison staff in Pickneyville forced her to have sex with her male cellmate and forced her to “perform sexually” for their entertainment. Officers have denied any knowledge of forced sex between her and another inmate.

She was transferred to Menard in August of 2017 after she made complaints, the lawsuit states.

Defendants in Hampton’s lawsuit include the Illinois Department of Corrections’ director, two prison wardens and 11 correctional officers. Their responses to her allegations of abuse and mistreatment were filed this week in the U.S. District Court for Southern Illinois.

At Menard, as well as at Lawrence and Dixon correctional centers, Hampton says in the lawsuit that she was called derogatory names. Officers at all three institutions say they did not call her those names and did not hear other inmates doing so.

Hampton also states in that lawsuit that she was “forced to perform sexually in her cell for their entertainment” at Menard. Officers at that facility deny the allegation.

She filed her first lawsuit about a week after she was transferred to Menard in August of 2017, and was later transferred to Lawrence in January of 2018. She says mistreatment started at Lawrence only after she dropped the first lawsuit.

Officers did not deny that Hampton suffered facial injuries at Lawrence or that she was given a disciplinary ticket for an incident in the yard. Hampton says in her lawsuit she was slammed into a cage but officers say her injuries occurred when she kicked a correctional officer.

Hampton is serving a 10-year sentence for 2014 burglary in Chicago.

The 56-page complaint also specifies disciplinary actions and tickets that Hampton says will prolong her sentence. Wardens and officers stated in their response that they do not deny such actions would prolong her sentence or result in her confinement in a segregated area.

Mary Cooley: 618-239-2535; @MaryCooleyBND
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