Transgender inmate accusing Menard officers of abuse agrees to t - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Transgender inmate accusing Menard officers of abuse agrees to transfer

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BENTON -- 26-year old Deon Hampton, a transgender inmate who goes by Strawberry, will be transferred from Menard Correctional Center to Lawrence Correctional Center following an agreement with the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Hampton, who is serving a 10-year sentence for burglary, was seeking transfer to a women's prison, but her lawyers say the priority was getting her out of Menard, where she fears for her life.

"She felt she was very much at risk at Menard, and we felt that the evidence that went on yesterday established that she was at great risk if he were to stay at Menard," said Alan Mills, who is on the team representing Hampton.

This comes after several hours of meetings Tuesday and testimony from Hampton and several witnesses last week that she was targeted by corrections officers for physical, sexual and verbal abuse, in Pinckneyville Correctional Center and Menard over the last year.

Hampton testified that officers at Pinckneyville would beat her and force her to perform sexual acts on other inmates, and that the treatment continued after she transferred to Menard.

As part of the deal, Hampton agreed to drop her complaint against officers at Menard, though she is continuing her case against those at Pinckneyville.

Her lawyers say the DOC has also agreed to convene its Gender Identification Disorder Committee to reevaluate Hampton's placement in a men's prison, as she continues to fight for a transfer to a women's facility where she says she belongs.

"She is in all respects more a woman than a man, she certainly considered herself fully a woman from he age of five on, so putting a female in an all male facility is simply a bad idea," Mills said.

Lawyers from Menard and the Department of Corrections declined to comment.

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