After a year-long legal battle, a transgender woman held at an all-male prison was moved to an all women prison within the past week.
Strawberry Hampton, 27, is now at Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln, Ill. The MacArthur Justice Center issued a statement Thursday announcing the move, which the Illinois Department of Corrections later confirmed. MacArthur, along with the Uptown People’s Law Center, has assisted Hampton in her legal fight as she asked to be moved.
She had been staying at Dixon Correctional Center, one of four men’s prisons where she has been incarcerated and has alleged abuse.
Over the course of the past year, Hampton and her team of lawyers have said that she has faced discrimination, sexual abuse and assault from fellow prisoners and guards that have led her to self harm.
Despite those claims, the Illinois Department of Corrections rejected Hampton’s request for a transfer.
In a statement from the MacArthur Justice Center, which, along with the Uptown People’s Law Center, filed the first suit in December 2017, one of Hampton’s lawyers said this was just the start of getting the department of corrections to address its “systemic failures.”
“Strawberry has fought every day to be free from sexual violence and to have the IDOC recognize that she is a woman,” said Vanessa del Valle of the MacArthur Justice Center. “This transfer, which occurred after a year of hard fought litigation and two emergency hearings, is a victory for her and a testament to her strength and courage. But IDOC has done nothing to remedy the systemic failures that created the persistent harm Strawberry has endured since she entered IDOC custody. The fight for Strawberry and for all trans women in IDOC has only just begun.”
Hampton, who was born Deon Hampton, filed a lawsuit against the Illinois Department of Correction in March. Hampton, of Chicago, is currently serving a 10-year sentence for residential burglary.
Hampton previously sued Pickneyville and Menard Correctional Centers, both male prisons. Before being transferred to Dixon, Hampton was incarcerated at the Lawrence Correctional Center, in Sumner, Ill.