Illinois prisons told to develop training on transgender issues

prison

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A federal judge in Southern Illinois is ordering state prison officials to develop training for all staff on transgender issues.

The order handed down this week by U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Rosenstengel comes in response to a lawsuit filed by a transgender prison inmate that claims repeated abuse and sexual assaults involving guards and inmates. As part of her order, Rosenstengel also directed state prison officials to re-evaluate Deon “Strawberry” Hampton’s previously denied request for transfer.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the judge gave the state’s Department of Corrections 14 days to report back to her with a training plan. The department says work on the plan is under way and that the department’s mental health professionals already receive training and consult with a transgender expert.