A transgender woman in an Illinois men’s prison is seeking an emergency transfer to a correctional facility that houses women, contending that she has been repeatedly sexually harassed and assaulted by Illinois Department of Corrections officers, reports In Justice Watch. In retaliation to her complaints of abuse, she says she was given disciplinary tickets and put in solitary confinement. Strawberry Hampton, 26, who is incarcerated under the name Deon Hampton, is in Menard Correctional Center, a maximum security prison in Southern Illinois.
“She’s in danger every day she’s there,” said Alan Mills of the Uptown People’s Law Center who with Northwestern University’s Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center is representing Hampton. The lawsuit alleges that Hampton and another transgender inmate were forced by officers to “perform sexual acts for the officers’ entertainment.” When Hampton and the other transgender woman said they were going to file a complaint if harassment continued, they were threatened and Hampton was later beaten, called derogatory slurs and told “this is what happens when you call [Prison Rape Elimination Act] on us,” the lawsuit charges.