Transgender Illinois inmate gets rare transfer to female prison

A transgender woman serving a 10-year sentence for burglary has been moved to a women’s prison in what could be a first for Illinois.

Posted: Dec 27, 2018 3:53 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — A transgender woman serving a 10-year sentence for burglary has been moved to a women’s prison in what could be a first for Illinois.

Lawyers for 27-year-old Deon “Strawberry” Hampton announced her transfer Thursday after a year of resistance by the Illinois Department of Corrections.

The MacArthur Justice Center and Uptown People’s Law Center have been fighting to force prison officials to grant Hampton’s transfer request. They filed federal lawsuits arguing she will be less vulnerable to the sexual assault, taunting and beatings she says she was subjected to in male facilities.

Hampton’s attorneys welcomed the transfer but say Corrections hasn’t fixed “systemic failures” that lead to abuse of transgender inmates. The department didn’t immediately comment.

Federal data says there were no transgender female inmates in Illinois women’s prisons in 2016.

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