Friday, Jan. 5, 2018|4:09 p.m.
year asking for the transfer how guards and fellow prisoners would routinely single her out for harsh treatment at the high-security prison in southern Illinois, Menard Correctional Center, and previously at Pinckneyville Correctional Center. A U.S. magistrate judge started a first-of-its-kind evidentiary hearing in Hampton’s
case Friday in Benton, southeast of St. Louis, to assist the court decide whether to order the transfer. The hearing, which will last several days, is focused on Hampton’s gender identity and on whether she could position a threat to female inmates if moved. While at the Pinckneyville jail, she alleges that guards made her and another transgender inmate carry out sex acts on each other as the guards tossed slurs and laughed. When she was transferred to the higher security Menard, she states guards there warned they would retaliate for grievances she made about Pinckneyville guards. Unable to conveniently represent herself as female in the male jail– where she can’t wear her hair or nails long– has also been devastating physiologically, said one filing from her legal representatives at the Chicago-based MacArthur Justice Center and the Uptown Individuals’s Law Center.” I feel inhuman,”Hampton was quoted as saying. While prison officials do have the choice of assigning such male-to-female transgender prisoners to ladies’s jails– it happens rarely. Federal data from 2016 indicates
there were no transgender detainees in Illinois’ two female jails; there were 28 in the state’s 24 male jails. Surveys support claims that transgender inmates are at greater threat of abuse. The most recent readily available Justice Department data approximates there were over 3,200 transgender inmates in state and
federal jails as of 2012. And nearly 40 percent reported being victims of sexual
misbehavior by other prisoners and guards– compared to around 4 percent of the basic prison reporting such abuse. Some jails and jails nationwide have dealt with comparable legal obstacles. Jennifer Picknelly, a transgender female who in Massachusetts, sued a constable alleging she was buffooned with anti-transgender slurs, extorted and raped while a prisoner at a Hampden County jail for guys in 2016. She recently consented to drop the fit in exchange for a somewhat earlier release. Having a court decide where to send out Hampton and other transgender prisoners”would straight interfere with the operations of the (department)in a scenario where Complainant is simply trying to manipulate the system,”Illinois Department of Corrections attorneys argued in a filing. The same state filing casts doubt, not just on Hampton’s accounts of abuse by guards, however on her gender identity– alleging that Hampton in initial sessions with prison health employees never claimed to be transgender and, in the words of the
filing, “was okay with being male.” But a key witness for Hampton, medical psychiatrist George Brown, said in a statement to the court before Friday’s hearing that Hampton reveals all the features of someone convinced of their identity as a woman, saying Hampton has actually identified as female because the age of 5. He likewise challenged the department’s contention that Hampton is a higher risk to females due to the fact that she hasn’t made love reassignment surgical treatment, stating such a view “conflicts with all trusted medical literature.”He added Hampton’s low testosterone levels due to previous hormonal agent treatments suggested she was”functionally chemically castrated. “A choice on the transfer request isn’t anticipated for several weeks.