Transgender Inmate ‘Strawberry’ Transferred to Female Prison After Year-Long Court Battle


A biologically male transgender inmate was moved to an all-female prison in Illinois after a judge determined that the inmate could be housed according to his gender identity.

Authorities transferred Deon “Strawberry” Hampton, 27, from a male prison in Dixon to Logan Correctional Center women’s prison, ABC News reported Thursday. It costs nearly $26,500 annually to house an inmate at the Center, according to estimates from fiscal year 2016.

The transfer marks the first instance that a transgender prisoner is housed in an Illinois prison according to gender identity rather than biological sex, according to Hampton’s lawyer, Vanessa del Valle, ABC reported.

There were 28 biologically male transgender prisoners in Illinois’ 24 all-male prisons as of 2016, according to federal data.

Following a near year-long court battle between Hampton and the Illinois Department of Corrections, a federal judge determined that refusing to grant Hampton’s request to be transferred violated his equal protection rights, according to ABC.

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Hampton sued the IDOC in July after it refused to transfer him to an all-female prison.

Hampton claims he felt like a “sex slave” during his time at the Dixon prison, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Hampton is serving a 10-year sentence for burglary, according to ABC.

The IDOC “carefully considered Hampton’s housing placement before making the transfer,” the department said in a Thursday statement, confirming Hampton’s transfer, ABC reported.

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“We are thrilled,” del Valle said, according to the Tribune. “Strawberry has waited a long time for this transfer.”

“The fight for Strawberry and for all trans women in IDOC has only just begun,” del Valle added, according to ABC.

Hampton began hormone therapy in 2016, court documents show, the Tribune reported.

The transfer of a transgender inmate to a prison that accords with gender identity is not unique to Illinois.

San Francisco county jails formally announced in February the implementation of a policy for transgender inmates that will “respect” gender preferences, house them in the cells of their chosen identity and offer other gender identity services.

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Other transgender inmates have sued over alleged gender discrimination.

A transgender inmate sued the Indiana Department of Corrections commissioner in November 2017 because the prison he’s currently housed in wouldn’t provide him with hormone therapy.

Another transgender inmate also sued a Massachusetts state prison in November because it won’t offer him female services like mammograms and tampons or house him with other female inmates.

The IDOC did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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