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Strawberry Hampton’s nightmare at the hands of the state

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2018

* January 10, 2018

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. […]

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.

* More

Hampton recalled an incident where she and her cellmate were taken from their cell by officers — there are several pages of defendants named in the lawsuit’s complaint document which include the warden of Menard Correctional Center as well as a list of correctional officers — and told to dance for the men. She said she was also told to have phone sex with one officer and forced to put her mouth on the penis of another.

* But then IDOC settled the case

Alan Mills, executive director of the Uptown People’s Law Center, said he and his team came prepared for the second day of a preliminary injunction hearing in one of Hampton’s civil federal cases when representatives from IDOC came to them with an offer.

“With the judge’s help, we spent the day negotiating and seeing if we could resolve this case without a decision by the judge,” Mills said. […]

He said she has been housed in a health care facility, and will be until her transfer Wednesday to the Lawrence Correctional Center in Sumner.

Mills said he hopes the facilities at Lawrence will better suit Hampton’s needs.

“I know that there are other transgender women at Lawrence, so I’m hoping that they will have the sort of materials she and other transgender women need,” he said.

* But the transfer to Lawrence didn’t work out and she was then transferred to Dixon. But that isn’t working out either

A transgender woman, who’s incarcerated at a men’s correctional facility in northern Illinois, is again suing the state Department of Corrections to be housed in a women’s prison after alleging she’s suffered abuse in several male facilities.

Deon “Strawberry” Hampton has sued the agency multiple times and has been transferred to four different facilities in the last year. Hampton currently resides at the Dixon Correctional Facility, after spending time at the Lawrence Correctional Center where other transgender inmates live.

Hampton’s attorney says abuse has continued regardless of where her client has been sent.

I asked IDOC today whether any guards had been disciplined for their alleged behavior. I’ll let you know if the department responds.

She’s doing time for burglary, by the way.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 2:09 pm:

    People similar to Strawberry have been placed in women’s prison, but the sexual assaults and crimes continue there as well.

    Rape is a real problem in men’s prisons so we need to keep Strawberry there and address this problem there.

    Moving Strawberry to a woman’s prison isn’t a good idea based upon similar incidents.

  2. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 2:10 pm:

    They had an agreement and IDOC backed out? That does not seem like the brightest thing to do. I would love to see that agreement and see if corrections officers were to be disciplined. The PREA law means business She will win in Federal Court. They should have made it go away with the agreement

  3. - A Jack - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 2:22 pm:

    If they legalize marijuana, that should free up enough space that perhaps there could be a prison devoted to those persons most likely to be abused in a general prison population. The idea of modern prison is supposed to be to prepare a prisoner to be integrated back into society as a productive person (not a burglar). People cannot go about learning societal skills if they are being abused.

    Isolation is cruel, so shouldn’t be used. The guards should be disciplined. But just as we have men and women prisons, perhaps we should also have prisons for transgenders. I don’t think the state would have money for it though unless we free up space through legalization of marijuana.

  4. - FDB - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 2:42 pm:

    ==If they legalize marijuana, that should free up enough space that perhaps there could be a prison devoted to those persons most likely to be abused in a general prison population==

    Got any stats backing that up?

  5. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 3:45 pm:

    ===Rape is a real problem in men’s prisons===

    Keep in mind that she’s not complaining about fellow inmates. This is about the guards. And if she’s telling the truth, some people who are guarding prisoners ought to be prisoners.

  6. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 5:10 pm:

    All the more reason to stop it.
    If Strawberry’s version is believed.

  7. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 5:26 pm:

    Something is wrong with a system where a victim remains under the control of the rapists she accuses.

  8. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 5:27 pm:

    “And if she’s telling the truth, some people who are guarding prisoners ought to be prisoners.”

    And if she is lying, there are absolutely no consequences for her.

  9. - Pete Mitchell - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 6:07 pm:

    Seems like the same lawyer suing IDOC over and over again. Interesting.

  10. - Getaclue - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 7:39 pm:

    Did anyone consider that maybe the inmate is making it up to win a lawsuit? Some of you people on here take his word as gospel. He is a convicted felon.

  11. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 8:26 pm:

    Which comment says Ms. Hampton’s word is gospel?

    Interesting that IDOC was so eager to avoid going before a judge, though.

  12. - Ferris Bueller - Wednesday, Jul 25, 18 @ 7:19 am:

    A Jack, if they legalize marijuana it will have next to no impact on prison population. You do understand that most cannabis offenses are misdemeanors and those in prison for marijuana offenses either possessed large quantities or we’re dealing weight. IDOC has released numbers, people just chose to ignore them to push their pot agenda.

  13. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 25, 18 @ 8:04 am:

    Peter Roskam, when a state rep., passed a bill to make sexual abuse by guards illegal.

  14. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, Jul 25, 18 @ 8:47 am:

    ==A Jack, if they legalize marijuana it will have next to no impact on prison population.==
    It’s true few people going to jail for pot possession. I don’t agree that marijuana arrests have no impact on prison population. Arrestees get put on probation, and people on probation can get put in jail for trivial things, like curfew or missing an appointment. This happened to a classmate of my daughter’s, who was out on probation for marijuana use. He got sent to Cook Cpunty Jail for a year for something trivial a week before his high school graduation.

    Marijuana arrests are 5% of all prison arrests, 587,700 according to a Washington Post 2017 article. That is a lot of vulnerable people. And you can look at the other blog post to see that recividation rates for people on parole are very high.

  15. - Jerry - Wednesday, Jul 25, 18 @ 10:39 am:

    If I have ever heard a case for ankle-bracelet home confinement, this would be it.

  16. - LoyalVirus - Wednesday, Jul 25, 18 @ 11:35 am:

    ==Getaclue - you can doubt Strawberry’s veracity all you’d like but please do so using the correct pronouns.

  17. - Getaclue - Wednesday, Jul 25, 18 @ 5:11 pm:

    LoyalVirus, I did use the correct pronoun.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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