Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Imprisoned trans woman seeks court order to protect her from assaults by guards
From a press release
2017-12-07

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Illinois — The Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center and the Uptown People's Law Center have asked the federal court for an emergency order to protect Strawberry Hampton ( incarcerated under the name Deon Hampton ) from further abuse and harassment at the hands of Illinois Department of Corrections ( IDOC ) employees. Ms. Hampton is a 26-year old transgender woman currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center. IDOC officials refuse to acknowledge that Ms. Hampton is a woman and insist on housing her in men's prisons, where she has been repeatedly sexually assaulted by correctional officers.

After she filed complaints against the officers who assaulted her, the officers retaliated against her by placing her in solitary confinement. Once placed in solitary, another group of officers attacked Ms. Hampton, and they continue to harass and threaten her on a daily basis.

While in custody at Pinckneyville Correctional Center, Ms. Hampton was the victim of a series of sexual assaults in which a group of officers came to her cell, ordered her to strip to her underwear and forced her to perform sexual acts with her cellmate for the officers' entertainment.

In response to her filing a complaint, guards wrote her false disciplinary tickets, sending her to solitary confinement for three months. These same officers continued to sexually harass and physically abuse her. During this time, she was denied her transgender support group, her phone privileges and, very often, even a shower. Officers withheld her food, and she lost 35 pounds. She continued to file multiple grievance reports detailing her abuse, but none were acted upon. Instead, she continued to be punished, accumulating so many false disciplinary tickets that she was transferred to Menard Correctional Center, a high security men's prison.

Having heard about her complaints against prison officers, Menard officials began abusing her in retaliation before Ms. Hampton even set foot on the premises, beating and choking her on the bus ride to Menard. Once at the prison, her complaint to mental health staff was ignored, and she was immediately sent to solitary confinement. Due to the amount of fraudulent disciplinary tickets she has, she is currently sentenced to solitary confinement until April 2018.

"Strawberry's story demonstrates the realities of prison life for many trans women," said Sheila Bedi, one of her attorneys. "At this moment, when countless women in the free world are coming forward to tell their stories of sexual abuse with the #metoo hashtag, Strawberry has been thrown into solitary confinement and subjected to further abuse for speaking her truth about sexual violence. The 'me too' movement must create space for imprisoned survivors of sexual abuse. Our hope is the court will take immediate action to protect her, and will house her with other women where she can be protected from further abuse."

Adding to the punishment of prolonged isolation was the abhorrent condition of the cell itself. The walls were covered in urine and feces, and lacked running water or a mattress, forcing Ms. Hampton to rely on a thin, molded foam pad. Denied cleaning supplies for a month, she was forced to live and sleep in filth.

"Correctional officers control every aspect of her life and in reporting her abusers, Strawberry demonstrated incredible bravery, said Vanessa del Valle, counsel for the plaintiff. "Once they learned of her complaints, instead of protecting Ms. Hampton, prison officials tried to silence and punish her. Not only that, but IDOC has repeatedly discriminated against her because she is a trans woman, denying her access to programming and services. These clear-cut violations of her federal rights require urgent action."

One occasion, officers flooded her cell, called her derogatory slurs, and then physically beat her, all while their Lieutenant watched. When she simply tried to hang dry her sheets, she was given a disciplinary ticket and her bedding was confiscated. When she finally received sheets a month later, they were unwashed, filthy and smelled. On another occasion, she was placed in an infirmary cell with another prisoner with a known high aggressive level, who proceeded to beat her. Officers stood by, and even encouraged, the assault.

"Illinois prisons are violent places where coercion and the use of force by guards are routine. But even viewed against this background, the treatment of Strawberry was nothing short of barbaric. Gendered bigotry should not be tolerated anywhere in society, but least of all in our prisons, which are supposed to be places of law, " said Alan Mills of the Uptown People's Law Center, co-counsel on the case.

The lawsuit requests Ms. Hampton be transferred to Logan Correctional Center, a women's prison, to serve the remainder of her sentence in general population. In addition to holding accountable the specific officers who carried about the abuse, the lawsuit also names James Baldwin, director of the IDOC, and Jaqueline Lasbrook, warden of Menard, for not only allowing such practices to occur but, through deliberate indifference, effectively sanctioning them.

The suit details violations of the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments and the Illinois Hate Crimes Act. The suit also claims violations of Title IX and Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Person Act owing to her forced segregation depriving her of attending education, support or religious opportunities.

The Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center was founded in 1985 and is one of the premier civil rights law firms in the United States, with offices in Chicago; St. Louis; New Orleans; and Oxford, MS.

Uptown People's Law Center ( UPLC ) is a nonprofit legal services organization specializing in prisoners' rights, Social Security disability, and tenants' rights and eviction defense. UPLC has seven pending class action lawsuits against the Illinois Department of Corrections.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Looking back at 2017's top ten news events 2017-12-17 - 2017 was the year the 1960s tried to make a comeback. There was the resurgence in white nationalist activity, widespread sexual harassment, and ...


Gay News

Uganda Police Raid Queer Kampala Film Festival, Blocking LGBT Cultural Event 2017-12-15 - ( Nairobi, December 15, 2017 ) — Ugandan police raided and forcibly closed the Queer Kampala International Film Festival on December 9, 2017, ...


Gay News

HRC: Puerto Rico Gov. Rossello Must Veto Anti-LGBTQ Bill 2017-12-15 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) called on Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo RossellÃ" to veto a bill passed by ...


Gay News

A Different World: Why We Owe the Cosby Accusers an Apology 2017-12-15 - "The sins of the fathers. They just fucked it all up. We had the best family. We had it all. We had it ...


Gay News

AG Madigan to appeal FCC vote to eliminate net neutrality rules 2017-12-14 - Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that she, along with other state attorneys general, will appeal the Federal Communications Commission's ( ...


Gay News

LGBTQ-focused oSTEM holds seventh annual conference 2017-12-14 - Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Inc. ( oSTEM ) held its seventh annual conference, "Finding Unity in Community," Nov. 16-19 at ...


Gay News

Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project launches to build community power 2017-12-14 - The Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project ( BLMP ) [ https://transgenderlawcenter.org/programs/blmp ] , a first-of-its-kind program housed at Transgender Law Center and made possible ...


Gay News

HRC: Five Years After Sandy Hook, Time for Gun Safety Reform 2017-12-14 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign issued the following statement from President Chad Griffin on the fifth anniversary of the horrific mass ...


Gay News

Misinformation Nation, The Threat to America's Federal Data and Civil Rights in new report 2017-12-14 - WASHINGTON — The federal government's collection, reporting, and protection of accurate, comprehensive data is central to implementing, monitoring, and evaluating civil rights laws ...


Gay News

Nomination of Mateer withdrawn, right-wing leaning Willett confirmed 2017-12-13 - From HRC: Anti-LGBTQ Judicial Nominee will Not Be Confirmed WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.