Prisons are inherently dangerous places, in no small part because of the near unlimited power of prison guards and officials.

When prison personnel are allowed to operate without oversight, they may be emboldened to use coercion and punishment to retaliate against prisoners who dare to challenge their absolute authority.

For transgender women, prison is torture

Transgender prisoners are victimized at rates nearly ten times those for prisoners in general. The federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) recognizes that, “Being transgender is a known risk factor for being sexually victimized in confinement settings.”

PREA also mandates that transgender prisoners be assigned to male or female housing on a case-by-case basis that gives “serious consideration” to the prisoner’s sense of where he or she would be safest. Yet jails and prisons around the country, including the Illinois Department of Corrections, have not only allowed trans prisoners to be put in unsafe conditions, they have actively encouraged and aided in abuse and assault.

That’s why we’ve gone to court.


Meet Strawberry Hampton

Hampton v. Illinois Department of Corrections

Strawberry Hampton is a 27-year old transgender woman currently incarcerated within the Illinois Department of Corrections. She has spent her entire sentence in men’s prisons, where she has survived numerous sexual assaults and received constant harassment and threats. Her brave decision to report the repeated sexual assault by guards, set off a chain of greater harassment, cruel retaliation and deliberate neglect and abuse by prison officials.

After transferring her to four men's prisons within a year and a half, each time with worsening abuse and her mental health continuing to deteriorate, the IDOC willfully refuses to acknowledge her gender or consider her safety.

Hampton v. Illinois Department of Corrections

Latest Developments

September 12, 2018

Preliminary Injunction Hearing for Ms. Strawberry Hampton Scheduled

August 14, 2018

Another lawsuit filed on behalf of Ms. Strawberry Hampton, who continues to face transphobic abuse and harassment from Illinois Department of Corrections officials.

Key Cases