A transgender woman currently housed at Danville Correctional Facility, a medium security men’s prison, has filed a federal lawsuit against the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) after being repeatedly subjected to sexual harassment and assault by both prisoners and IDOC staff. The complaint has been filed anonymously under the name “Tay Tay,” at the request of the plaintiff for fear of threats and retaliation.
For over 15 years, Tay Tay has consistently raised concerns about her physical safety that were ignored and even reinforced by IDOC personnel. IDOC employees have repeatedly targeted her with vulgar slurs, ignored direct requests for help, and actively stood by while she was being physically and sexually assaulted by other prisoners.
This case illustrates IDOC’s policy of disregarding gender dysphoria and assigning placement and housing decisions entirely on the gender assigned at birth. This policy is in direct contrast to the policies and best practices put forth by the Prison Rape Elimination Act. Because IDOC receives federal funds, Illinois prisons are required to adhere to PREA standards and make individualized determinations of housing when it comes to transgender prisoners, which must include serious consideration for the prisoner’s safety.
The complaint requests that Tay Tay be transferred to Logan Correctional Center, a women’s prison, and placed in general population.