Transgender inmate sues; seeks transfer to female prison

May 14, 2019 GMT

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A transgender prisoner is suing Illinois’ Department of Corrections, accusing it of doing too little to protect her from abuse for over 15 years and requesting an order transferring her to a women’s prison.

Lawyers for the MacArthur Justice Center and Uptown People’s Law Center filed the 24-page lawsuit Tuesday in southern Illinois on behalf of the prisoner, referred to by a pseudonym, “Tay Tay.” She’s serving a sentence for armed robbery.

Plaintiff lawyer Sheila Bedi says Tay Tay faced assaults and constant taunts because of what Bedi calls “the IDOC’s systemic failure” to keep transgender inmates safe. The filing says a cellmate once raped Tay Tay.


An IDOC spokeswoman said the department can’t comment on pending litigation.

A similar lawsuit led to a rare transfer of transgender prisoner Strawberry Hampton to a women’s prison last year.