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Transgender inmate getting transferred to women’s prison

Janiah Monroe
Janiah Monroe (Photo courtesy of UPLC)

SPRINGFIELD — A transgender prisoner is being transferred to a women’s prison after suing the state.

Janiah Monroe had sued the Illinois Department of Corrections to be moved to a women’s prison in February, alleging abuse from correction officers and inmates. She had been the second transgender woman to sue for a transfer.

WTTW-TV reported that Monroe was moved Monday from the Pontiac Correctional Center in Livingston County to the Logan Correctional Center, a facility located about 30 miles northeast of Springfield.

Uptown People’s Law Center (UPLC), which represented her, said in February that Monroe has been in prison since she was 19. Along with self-harm because of gender dysphoria, she has been threatened her with rape, beating, and harm to her family. Prison staff have allegedly targeted her with invasive and inappropriate pat-downs during which officers touch her breasts, buttocks, and genitals.

“I have been sexually assaulted at every men’s prison that IDOC put me into, including by IDOC staff,” Monroe said in the February press release. It’s time for IDOC to recognize my gender and take responsibility for keeping me safe. As long as I’m in a men’s prison, IDOC can never protect me from sexual assault.”

She requested to be moved in 2017 but was denied.

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