A petition on change.org has been started for Strawberry Hampton, a transgender woman who's currently in Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln, about 30 miles north of Springfield.
According to WBEZ, Hampton sued the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) in federal court for keeping her locked up in men's-only prisons, where she said she was often subjected to taunting, beatings and sexual assault. After a legal battle that stretched longer than a year, the department relented and housed her at Logan. Hampton was released from that facility in July 2019.
About four months after getting out, Hampton was arrested by Elmhurst police and charged with three counts of residential burglary. After being arrested in late 2019, she was again placed in men's facilities and was not transferred to a women's prison until May 2021.
Logan's website states that it is a multi-level facility for women with an operational capacity of 1,667 beds for healthcare, crisis, segregation, protective custody and more. There are various inmate programs that including academic (such as GED and cosmetology courses), vocational and volunteer-service programs, among others.
However, according to the petition, "in fall 2021, [Hampton] was physically attacked by correctional officers on more than one occasion. Each time, she called the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Hotline to report the abuse and threats of rape. In retaliation, COs have issued her multiple tickets on false charges, extending her time in a segregated unit."
As a result, "for months now, she has been able leave her cell for only one hour a day," the petition added. "As a punishment, they have also revoked her programming rights by barring access to mental health, educational, and employment opportunities, pushing back her expected release date by years."
The petition adds that Warden Jean Marie Case "has not only been complicit in the attacks by failing to intervene or hold staff accountable, but has refused to hear Strawberry's testimony after she's complained through the facility's grievance system." The document requests, among other things, that "the officers who have repeatedly threatened her with rape be fired for violating the Prison Rape Elimination Act; that the officers, deputies, and lieutenants be fired for physically assaulting her; and that Warden Case be fired for allowing this to happen with impunity."
[UPDATE: IDOC Chief of Staff Camile Lindsay emailed Windy City Times with a statement saying, "The allegations outlined ... are false. Warden Case and her staff are very responsive to the needs and concerns of all of the individuals in custody who reside at Logan and that includes Ms. Hampton. All allegations submitted by individuals in custody against staff are reviewed and investigated by the Logan Internal Affairs Lt or sent to External Investigations."]
"Protect Strawberry Hampton and Hold IDOC Accountable for Transphobic Violence/Harassment" is at www.change.org/p/protect-strawberry-hampton-and-hold-idoc-accountable-for-transphobic-violence-harassment .