6 transgender inmates sue Illinois Corrections Department

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This Oct. 19, 2011 photo shows inmates exiting building No. 19 at the Vienna Correctional Center in Vienna, Ill. (AP Photo/The Southern, Steve Jahnke)

CHICAGO — Six transgender inmates are suing the Illinois Department of Corrections in federal court, alleging inadequate medical care at state facilities.

The class-action lawsuit filed Wednesday in southern Illinois claims the women’s constitutional rights are being violated.

It alleges cruel and unusual punishment for delays or denials of treatment and that the department “systematically fails to provide necessary medical treatment” such as hormone therapy for gender dysphoria. That’s a medical condition where a person feels trapped in the body of the wrong sex.

The inmates seek immediate medical treatment.

Attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois are representing the women.

Similar lawsuits have been filed in other states.

The complaint names Gov. Bruce Rauner and several Department of Corrections officials. Messages seeking comment weren’t immediately returned.

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