IDOC denies abuse allegations in transgender inmate’s lawsuit

BELLEVILLE — The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) has denied abuse allegations made in a transgender inmate’s lawsuit on Monday.

The Belleville News-Democrat reported Wednesday that IDOC had responded to a lawsuit filed by Deon “Strawberry” Hampton. She sued to be moved to a women’s correctional facility. She has been moved to several men’s prisons across the state. Hampton is serving a 10 year sentence for robbery and is currently at the Dixon Correctional Center.

The newspaper reported that the lawsuit includes allegations that prison staff in Pickneyville forced her to have sex with her cellmate and forced her to “perform sexually” for their entertainment. Officers have denied any knowledge.

From the News-Democrat:

Defendants in Hampton’s lawsuit include the Illinois Department of Corrections’ director, two prison wardens and 11 correctional officers. Their responses to her allegations of abuse and mistreatment were filed this week in the U.S. District Court for Southern Illinois.

At Menard, as well as at Lawrence and Dixon correctional centers, Hampton says in the lawsuit that she was called derogatory names. Officers at all three institutions say they did not call her those names and did not hear other inmates doing so.

Hampton also states in that lawsuit that she was “forced to perform sexually in her cell for their entertainment” at Menard. Officers at that facility deny the allegation.

She filed her first lawsuit about a week after she was transferred to Menard in August of 2017, and was later transferred to Lawrence in January of 2018. She says mistreatment started at Lawrence only after she dropped the first lawsuit.

Officers did not deny that Hampton suffered facial injuries at Lawrence or that she was given a disciplinary ticket for an incident in the yard. Hampton says in her lawsuit she was slammed into a cage but officers say her injuries occurred when she kicked a correctional officer.

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