Metro Weekly

Transgender inmate who claims she was abused in prison gets moved to women’s facility

Strawberry Hampton suffered abuse at the hands of staff and fellow prisoners at four separate men's prisons

Strawberry Hampton – Photo: Illinois Department of Corrections.

A transgender woman who complained of abuse when she was held in a men’s correctional facility in Illinois has been approved for transfer to a women’s facility, reports NBC News.

Lawyers for Strawberry Hampton, 27, announced her transfer to Logan Correctional Center, a women’s facility, on Dec. 27. Despite having begun transitioning at five years old, Hampton was placed in prison based on her assigned sex at birth.

Hampton claims that, since her incarceration nearly four years ago, she suffered abuse at the hands of staff and fellow prisoners at four different men’s facilities.

Hampton also alleges that when she was held at Pinckneyville Correctional Center, guards sexually assaulted her and forced her to have sex with her cellmate for their entertainment. As a result, she attempted suicide.

In December 2017, the MacArthur Justice Center and Uptown People’s Law Center in Illinois filed a series of federal lawsuits on Hampton’s behalf seeking a court order to protect her from abuse.

The Illinois Department of Corrections initially rejected her request for a transfer. In November 2018, U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Rosenstengel ordered the Illinois Department of Corrections to re-evaluate its denial of Hampton’s request.

Rosenstengel also ordered the Department of Corrections to develop sensitivity training on transgender issues for all staff.

While Hampton’s case has been resolved in a positive manner, the MacArthur Justice Center says the Illinois Department of Corrections has not done enough to remedy the “systematic failures” that have contributed and event exacerbated some of the abuse directed at transgender prisoners.

Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lindsey Hess told NBC News: “IDOC’s mental health professionals receive specialized training and ongoing consultation from a transgender expert. The development of training for all IDOC staff is underway.”

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!

Leave a Comment: