Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Transgender Woman Seeks Immediate Protection from IDOC Guards
From a MacArthur Justice Center new release
2018-03-08

This article shared 1729 times since Thu Mar 8, 2018
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Illinois — A transgender woman has filed a third lawsuit in federal court seeking immediate action to protect her from ongoing harassment and abuse at the hands of Illinois Department of Corrections ( IDOC ) guards.

Strawberry Hampton ( incarcerated under the name Deon Hampton ) is a 27-year old transgender woman currently incarcerated at Lawrence Correctional Center, a medium-security men's prison. Ms. Hampton has spent her entire sentence in men's prisons, where she has survived numerous sexual assaults and received constant harassment and threats. IDOC officials have consistently refused to acknowledge Ms. Hampton's gender identity and have repeatedly and deliberately placed her in environments detrimental to her physical, mental and emotional health.

Ms. Hampton has spent over nine months in solitary confinement as a result of retaliatory disciplinary tickets IDOC officials imposed upon her. She is now being kept alone in her cell 24 hours a day, with only occasional permission to leave her cell to take a shower.

"As a woman in a man's prison, Strawberry fights for her survival every day. Instead of protecting her and housing her in a woman's prison where she can be kept safe, IDOC officials have housed her with men, thrown her in segregation, and refused to provide her with the mental health care she needs. We tried to keep Strawberry safe without anther lawsuit. But IDOC officials ignored Strawberry's cries for help and protection. So now, Illinois taxpayer dollars will be wasted while IDOC attempts to defend these indefensible actions in court," said Vanessa del Valle, counsel for Ms. Hampton with MacArthur Justice Center.

The lawsuit, filed by the MacArthur Justice Center and the Uptown People's Law Center, details Ms. Hampton's constant harassment and abuse by officers, mental health staff, and prisoners since her arrival at Lawrence in early January 2018.

Officers have sexually harassed her, threatened her, and subjected her to verbal and physical abuse. Prison guards also have made it clear they will not protect her from prisoners who seek to do her harm: on one occasion, guards stood by and allowed a prisoner on the yard to expose his genitals and threaten to rape her.

"Strawberry's ordeal is all too common for trans women living behind bars," said Sheila Bedi, counsel with MacArthur Justice Center. "While women across the world are celebrating International Women's Day today and commemorating the bravery of women who are speaking out about sexual violence, Strawberry's constant struggle to live free from sexual assault and the torture of solitary confinement should reminds us all that the #metoo movement must penetrate the walls of our prisons and create freedom for Strawberry—and thousands of other women and girls in her position—from the horror of sexual violence that is endemic to prison."

Since arriving at Lawrence, Ms. Hampton has attempted suicide multiple times while in solitary confinement. Despite her extreme emotional distress, the prison has offered no counseling, treatment, or interventions.

During one attempt, a prison guard who found her with a sheet around her neck told her to "stop acting like a crybaby diva." Following another attempt, she was stripped naked and placed on crisis watch, made even worse when the officers turned on the air conditioning in her cell in winter. Ms. Hampton also was punished for speaking up during mental health group counseling about the sexual harassment she had received.

Instead of responding appropriately to Ms. Hampton's reports of these continuing assaults, prison officials have continued to target her for punishment.

"IDOC has demonstrated that it cannot keep Strawberry safe in a men's prison, nor provide her the mental health care she needs to combat the effects of long-term solitary and assaults she has survived. Both the warden and the director refused to intervene to protect Ms. Hampton, so we are left with no choice but to enforce her rights through the courts. We will not allow IDOC to continually disregard its constitutional obligations," said Alan Mills, counsel with Uptown People's Law Center.

Ms. Hampton was originally placed at Lawrence Correctional Center as part of a settlement stemming from a previous lawsuit, filed after she was subjected to violent, cruel retaliation by guards at the Menard Correctional Center when she reported that guards had sexually assaulted her.

Having heard about Ms. Hampton's complaints against prison officers, Menard officials retaliated by beating and choking her on the bus ride to Menard, before she even set foot on the premises.. Once at the prison, her complaint to mental health staff was ignored, and she was immediately sent to solitary confinement.

The initial emergency order, filed in December 2017, included supporting testimony from other detainees who had witnessed her abuse, as well as a board certified psychiatrist, and an expert in penology. Due to the clear and immediate danger Ms. Hampton was in, a settlement was reached in order to secure her rapid transfer out of Menard. As part of the settlement, IDOC agreed to call a meeting of the Gender Identity Committee within 60 days to assess and determine her permanent placement.

"In January, out of fear for her life, and based on IDOC saying that staff at Lawrence knew how to keep trans women safe and meet their needs, Ms. Hampton accepted a settlement offer. But since then, Ms. Hampton has experienced multiple assaults and the IDOC has refused to take any action to move her to a women's prison or provide her with medically necessary care," said Bedi. "IDOC officials are well aware of Ms. Hampton's current crisis, but have refused to comply with the law and care for and protect Ms. Hampton. Further litigation was her only option to try to stop the abuse and get transferred to a women's prison."

Due to the imminent nature of the threat faced by Ms. Hampton, her counsel intend to request an emergency hearing of her case.

The suit details violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Illinois Hate Crimes Act.

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 nine pending class action lawsuits against the Illinois Department of Corrections.


This article shared 1729 times since Thu Mar 8, 2018
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

Hastert settles sexual-abuse lawsuit
2021-09-16
Days before a trial was set to begin, former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert reached a tentative settlement in a hush-money lawsuit filed by a man whose decades-old sexual-abuse allegations led to the politician's downfall six ...


Gay News

Brittany Devon meets a 'Platonic Girlfriend'
2021-09-15
Queer, genderfluid actor Brittany Devon has created a brand new project to explore with Platonic Girlfriend. It is the story of a relationship between straight woman Alice and a queer, nonbinary person named Dev. Devon stars ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker signs transformative energy legislation for Illinois
2021-09-15
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Delivering on principles previously laid out, Governor JB Pritzker signed landmark legislation into law that puts the state on a path toward 100% clean energy, invests in training a diverse workforce for the jobs ...


Gay News

Catholic theologians urge protections for LGBTQ+ people
2021-09-14
More than 750 of the nation's leading Catholic theologians, church leaders, scholars, educators and writers have joined New Ways Ministry in voicing support for nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, according to a New Ways press release. ...


Gay News

AstonRep Theatre Company announces 2021-22 season:
2021-09-13
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Sept. 13, 2021) — AstonRep Theatre Company is pleased to welcome back live audiences this fall, kicking off with a revival of Yasmina Reza's frenetic dark comedy God of Carnage, translated by Christopher Hampton and ...


Gay News

Men Having Babies surrogacy conference on Oct. 9
2021-09-13
The Men Having Babies 2021 Midwest Surrogacy Conference & Expo will take place Saturday, Oct. 9, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. According to a press statement, more than 100 (vaccinated!) ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Teachers, GLAAD talks HRC, 9/11 items, Dr. Rachel Levine
2021-09-12
In North Carolina, a former teacher won a lawsuit against Charlotte Catholic High School and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte after he lost his job following an announcement on Facebook that he planned to marry ...


Gay News

WORLD False report, Indian activist dies, fashion exhibit, LGBT Awards
2021-09-12
In Spain, a man who claimed eight hooded men carved an anti-gay slur on his butt using a knife in a horrific hate crime later said the act was consensual, according to out.com. According to police ...


Gay News

Women & Children First hosting virtual event with Anita Hill on Sept. 29
2021-09-11
Anita Hill—the University Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's and Gender Studies at Brandeis University who played a major role in the 1991 Senate confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas—will be part ...


Gay News

Dutch study: Transgender people face twice the odds for early deaths
2021-09-08
A long-term Dutch study revealed that transgender people have double the odds of dying early compared to folks whose identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth (cisgender), according to the U.S. News & World ...


Gay News

Chicago neighborhood nonprofits join forces to provide free attorneys
2021-09-07
Four Chicago neighborhood nonprofits—LCLC (Lawndale Christian Legal Center), Breakthrough, BUILD (Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development) and New Life Centers—have formed a partnership to assign free ...


Gay News

One in ten LGBT workers experienced discrimination at work in the last year
2021-09-07
LGBT employees of color were more likely to report being denied jobs and verbal harassment A new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds an estimated 46% of LGBT workers have experienced ...


Gay News

Constand breaks silence about Bill Cosby
2021-09-07
Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand is breaking her silence to NBC News about the comic/actor's release from prison two months ago, Deadline noted. In a brief clip, Constand tells Kate Snow she "was really shocked — ...


Gay News

Afghan LGBTQs in peril, with little help in sight
2021-09-06
Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of LGBT Afghan citizens, who dared to take modest steps toward living openly when their country was under the occupation and influence of a more tolerant "western culture," are now literally hiding in ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Idol' alums, Zendaya, Gaga, 'Queer As Folk,' women rappers
2021-09-05
American Idol alum David Archuleta said that God urged him to come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, NBC News noted. The Nashville resident told Today.com he wasn't sure if the community would embrace ...


 



Copyright © 2021 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


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.