CHICAGO (CBS) — A transgender woman has filed an emergency order in federal court to stop alleged abuse and harassment by Illinois Department Of Corrections guards.

27-year-old Strawberry Hampton (born Deon Hampton) is being held at the Lawrence Correctional Center, a men’s medium security prison in Sumner.

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Hampton says she has received numerous threats and sexual assaults during her incarceration.

According to the Uptown People’s Law Center, Hampton “is seeking immediate action to protect her from ongoing harassment at the hands of IDOC guards.”

“As a woman in a man’s prison, Strawberry fights for her survival every day,” says Vanessa del Valle, counsel for Ms. Hampton with the MacArthur Justice Center.


Lawyers are seeking a federal court order of protection for a transgender prison inmate who is alleged to have been sexually assaulted for the entertainment of prison guards. (Credit CBS/Uptown People’s Law Center)

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“Instead of protecting her and housing her in a woman’s prison where she can be kept safe, IDOC officials have housed her with men and refused to provide her with the mental health care she needs,” says del Valle.

Her lawyers say Hampton was originally sent to Lawrence as part of a settlement from another lawsuit regarding alleged cruel treatment and sexual assault by guards at the Menard Correctional Center.

Hampton’s attorneys are requesting an emergency hearing of her case.

The suit details, among other things, violations to the Illinois Hate Crimes Act.

The Illinois Department of Corrections says it cannot comment on pending litigation.

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