Strawberry Hampton, a transgender woman who has been incarcerated in several men's prisons across Illinois, has described feeling like a "sex slave" according to court documents claiming repeated abuse and sexual assaults involving guards and inmates, The Chicago Tribune reports.
 

Hampton filed multiple lawsuits against the Illinois Department of Corrections over the past year seeking transfer to a women's prison where she believes it will be safer for her to complete a 10-year sentence for burglary. She was denied.

 ILTransgenderStrawberry

However, this week, a southern Illinois federal judge ordered state prison officials to re-evaluate Hampton’s request for transfer. Further, the court mandated that the Illinois Department of Corrections develop training on transgender issues for all staff.

 

“This is an important step, not only for Strawberry but in general for transgender women imprisoned across the nation,” Vanessa del Valle, an attorney with the MacArthur Justice Center, which represents Hampton, told the Tribune.

 

U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Rosenstengel's order also states Hampton must be allowed to attend a transgender support group while in segregation at Dixon Correctional Center, where she is currently incarcerated. Hampton had been prohibited from doing so.

 

The Illinois Department of Corrections has 14 days to report back with a training plan, which agency officials say is “underway.”

 

According to the Tribune, while the court did not mandate Hampton’s transfer to a female prison, the order strongly suggested that the department’s Transgender Care Review Committee re-evaluate evidence for and against the request, including interviewing Hampton.

 

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