Strawberry Hampton is a transgender woman who has exclusively been held in men's prisons. Hampton is currently housed at Dixon Correctional Center, a medium security men's prison. She never received any formal in-person reviews to determine her placement into a women's prison. As a transgender woman, Strawberry has faced endless harassment and abuse by both prisoners and IDOC staff. Correctional officers have sexually assaulted her, used her mental health status to place her in segregated conditions, and created false disciplinary reports to prolong her sentence. The discrimination and abuse that Hampton faces violates her Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights, as well as violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Illinois Hate Crimes Act, and the Prison Rape Elimination Act.
At the beginning of November 2018, the court granted our request for emergency relief to protect Strawberry from all the abuse and harassment she is enduring at the hands of prison staff and other prisoners. This is the first time the court has used a preliminary injunction to state that housing a trans woman in a men’s prison violates the Equal Protection Clause. This is also the first time a court has found that the type of verbal abuse and sexual harassment that Strawberry has endured as a trans woman can rise to the level of constituting unlawful discrimination. The court is requiring IDOC to develop a training plan for staff on transgender issues, and a plan to review Strawberry’s placement. Our fight for Strawberry is not over, but this is a vital step in the process!
Attorneys: Alan Mills, Liz Mazur (Uptown People's Law Center), Vanessa del Valle, Sheila A. Bedi (Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center)
Date Filed: August 14, 2018
Court: United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
Judge: Judge Reona J. Daly
Case Number: 18 CV 0550
In a ruling that lawyers called "historic," a federal judge ordered that Illinois Department of Corrections ( IDOC ) review the case of Strawberry Hampton, a 27-year-old transgender woman who is being-held in a male-only detention facility downstate.
Illinois has just two weeks to present a plan to train its prison staff on transgender issues and rethink the placement of a trans inmate at the center of a highly-publicized abuse allegation.
In an order entered Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Rosenstengel said the Illinois Department of Corrections’ Transgender Care Review Committee must consider all evidence for and against transferring 27-year-old Strawberry Hampton to a women’s facility. The department has previously rejected her request to move.
Strawberry Hampton, a transgender woman currently serving a ten-year sentence for residential burglary at Dixon Correctional Center, the fourth male prison she's been transferred to within the year, filed new claims against the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) on July 17 stating that she's been sexually and physically assaulted by inmates and prison guards, and requesting she be transferred to Logan Correctional Center, a women's prison.
"She has been repeatedly physically and verbally harassed — physically attacked — by men, both staff and prisoners, at every men’s prison she’s been housed at,” says her lawyer Alan Mills, with the Uptown People's Law Center.
A transgender woman currently incarcerated at the Dixon Correctional Center is renewing her push for a transfer to an all-female prison, alleging that she suffered physical and sexual abuse from guards and male detainees.
"A transgender woman has filed an emergency order in federal court to stop alleged abuse and harassment by Illinois Department Of Corrections guards."
A transgender woman who is currently serving a 10-year sentence in Illinois for burglary is now seeking a rarely granted transfer to a female prison after enduring sexual assault, taunting, and beatings in male prisons.
"A 26-year-old transgender woman serving a 10-year sentence in Illinois for burglary is seeking a rarely granted transfer to a female prison where she says she'll be less vulnerable to the kinds of sexual assault, taunting and beatings she's been subjected to in male prisons." - ABC News
"A 26-year-old transgender woman serving a 10-year sentence in Illinois for burglary is seeking a rarely granted transfer to a female prison where she says she'll be less vulnerable to the kinds of sexual assault, taunting and beatings she's been subjected to in male prisons." - Chicago Tribune