Court documents outline allegations of abuse by transgender inma - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Court documents outline allegations of abuse by transgender inmate

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WSIL -- Harassment, beatings and sexual assault are just a few of the abuses transgender inmate Deon Hampton, who goes by Strawberry, claims she suffered at the hands of corrections officers in two southern Illinois prisons.

Federal court filings outline those claims against staff at Pinckneyville and Menard Correctional.

Her lawyers argue it all happened because of her gender identity..

"We do hope that the department of corrections through this process, has learned that they have to pay more attention to transgender issues," said Alan Mills, executive director of the Uptown People's Law Center.

Among the allegations, Hampton, who has identified as a woman for more than two decade, says corrections officers at Pinckneyville physically and sexually assaulted her, and regularly forced her to have sex with her cellmate for their entertainment, while shouting racist and homophobic slurs.

And after she reported the incidents under the Prison Rape Elimination Act, Hampton claims the abuse only got worse, with officers demanding she rescind the complaints or face beatings.

The complaint, which seeks damages from IDOC and named employees, describes an incident In May, where Hampton says prison staff beat and sexually assaulted her, before telling her it was retaliation for reporting officers.

In addition, Hampton alleges she was frequently denied food, and lost more than 35 pounds as a result.

And while she hoped for relief upon a transfer to Menard in August, the complaint says it provided anything but.

Hampton describes more abuse from the beginning, a beating she received on the transfer bus, and testified that officers said staff at Pinckneyville told them to put her on their target list.

Now as part of an agreement signed Tuesday Hampton has been transferred from Menard to another men's facility, but her lawyers say they will continue fighting to get her into a women's prison.

"Putting a female in an all male facility is a bad idea, so I think in the end that's the only solution," Mills said.

Hampton agreed to drop her civil complaint against officers at Menard as part of the deal, but her case against those at Pinckneyville is still ongoing.

No court date has been set for Hampton's case against officers at Pinckneyville and IDOC.
 

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