U.S. Department of Justice

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Offenders

This web page has been developed in an effort to provide current and useful information to correctional agencies regarding the safe and respectful management of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) offenders. Relying on a best practices approach, this information will enable corrections staff to make better decisions about the safety, security, treatment and care of LGBTI offenders by providing academic, cultural and legal perspectives of the issues that make this group unique.

Particular topics for consideration include intake procedures, classification, placement and housing, medical and mental health care and treatment, suicide prevention, potential victimization, policy development, staff and offender education, and supervision in the community, as well as other related areas.

For example, surveys conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicate that non-heterosexual adult offenders report higher rates of sexual victimization while in custody, and similar surveys in juvenile facilities show even higher rates of sexual victimization among non-heterosexual juvenile offenders. Similarly, a 2009 research report cited findings that transgender offenders experienced sexual victimization at a rate thirteen times higher than a random sampling of offenders in the same facility. Such evidence indicates that LGBTI offenders are at increased risk for sexual victimization while in custody, and agencies that ignore this may be placing themselves at risk for litigation.

Changes in federal and state legislation, court decisions, settlement agreements and the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards are also important factors in the management of LGBTI offenders in correctional settings and should be carefully reviewed in consideration of policy development.

Agencies wishing to participate in training and/or examine and improve their response to the management of LGBTI offenders may apply for limited, short-term technical assistance to aid their efforts.

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Recommended Reading

Date Title Type
2014
Document preview
PREA and LGBTI Rights
By Schuster, Terry. American Jail Association (AJA) (Hagerstown, MD).
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) inmates are especially at-risk for sexual assault. The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) provides guidance for ensuring that LGBTI inmates do not become victims of sexual abuse and harassment. This article is an excellent explanation of the “basic protections [required by PREA] for LGBTI inmates that every juvenile and adult correctional system will need to put in place and offer some extra provisions they should adopt to become models o... Read More

5 pages
2013
Document preview
Tribal Equity Toolkit 2.0: Tribal Resolutions and Codes to Support Two Spirit & LGBT Justice in Indian Country
Legal Aids Services of Oregon (LASO). Native American Program (NAPOLS) (Portland, OR); Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. Indigenous Ways of Knowing Program (IWOK) (Portland, OR); Basic Rights Oregon (Portland, OR); Western States Center (Portland, OR).
“Tribal laws reflect our values as a people, define our collective barriers, prioritize our issues, allocate public resources, and identify eligibility for conferred status and public benefits and services. This Toolkit identifies areas in which existing tribal laws may discriminate against Two Spirit /LGBT individuals. The Toolkit also gives tribal legislators a brief overview of legal and policy issues that impact the equal treatment of Two Spirit/LGBT community members, and offers sample reso... Read More

167 pages
2013
Document preview
Policy Review and Development Guide: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Persons in Custodial Settings
By Smith, Brenda V.; Loomis, Melissa C.; Yarussi, Jaime M.; Marksamer, Jody. National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC). Smith Consulting (Washington, DC); American University. Washington College of Law. Project on Addressing Prison Rape (Washington, DC).
“This guide includes information that will help adult correctional facilities and juvenile justice agencies to assess, develop, or improve policies and practices regarding LGBTI [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex] individuals in their custody. The guide is not meant to be a quick reference for writing policies appropriate for all agencies and/or facilities. It is intentionally vague on “how to” advice and “plug and play” policy guidance. Guides for writing policies exist in many ... Read More
PDF
79 pages
2013
Document preview
LGBTI: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Offenders (Selected Resources for Criminal Justice Professionals)
National Institute of Corrections Information Center (Aurora, CO).
“This annotated bibliography has been developed in an effort to provide current and useful information to correctional agencies regarding the safe and respectful management of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) offenders. Relying on a best practices approach, this information will enable corrections staff to make better informed decisions about the safety, security, treatment and care of LGBTI offenders by providing academic, cultural and legal perspectives of the issues th... Read More
PDF
38 pages
2012
Document preview
LGBTI Populations: Their Safety, Your Responsibility [Satellite/Internet Broadcast]
National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
Correctional agencies face many challenges surrounding the safe management of the populations they house and supervise. Due in part to changes in federal and state laws and the outcome of successful offender litigation, care and management of the LGBTI population has been identified as an emerging correctional issue that deserves special attention. While gender non-conforming offenders have always been present in facilities and on caseloads, we now have the opportunity to share information about... Read More
VIDEO
2 video DVDs (152 minutes)
2012
Document preview
Identification, Treatment and Correctional Management of Inmates Diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder (GID)
Massachusetts Dept. of Correction (Milford, MA).
“The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the identification, treatment, and institutional management of inmates diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder (GID)” (p. 1). Procedures cover: responsibilities of the GID clinical supervision group; responsibilities of the GID Treatment Committee; identification and diagnosis of inmates with GID; treatment planning for inmates with GID; reporting; security review; and management and placement. A sample “Gender Identity (GID) Mental Heal... Read More
PDF
18 pages
2012
Document preview
Transgender and Gender-Variant Inmates
Denver Sheriff Department. Office of the Director of Corrections/Undersheriff (Denver, CO).
This order provides guidelines that will “facilitate the elimination of discrimination against; and/or address the appropriate treatment of; and/or provide for the safety, security and medical needs of transgender and gender-variant inmates” (p. 1). Implementation and procedural guidelines cover: intake and initial classification; searches; Blue Cards; medical staff notification; Transgender Review Board; long-term housing and classification; medical assessment and treatment; responsibility for ... Read More
PDF
11 pages
2012
Document preview
A Quick Guide for LGBTI Policy Development for Adult Prisons and Jails
National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC). The Moss Group, Inc. (Washington, DC); National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
“This Quick Guide will help agencies and facilities develop a comprehensive response to working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) inmates. It is not meant to provide an answer to every question or an in-depth discussion of all issues that agencies face or that the LGBTI population faces while in custody. It provides an overview of the important issues that agencies should consider when working to house and treat LGBTI inmates in a way that is safe and consistent with ... Read More
PDF
24 pages
2012
Document preview
A Quick Guide for LGBTI Policy Development for Youth Confinement Facilities
National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC). The Moss Group, Inc. (Washington, DC); National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC).
“This Quick Guide will help agencies and facilities develop a comprehensive response to working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) youth. It is not meant to provide an answer to every question or an in-depth discussion of all issues that agencies face or that the LGBTI population faces while in custody. It provides an overview of the important issues that agencies should consider when working to house and treat LGBTI youth in a way that is safe and consistent with an a... Read More
PDF
24 pages
2010
Document preview
Why It Matters: Rethinking Victim Assistance for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Victims of Hate Violence & Intimate Partner Violence
National Center for Victims of Crime (Washington, DC); National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) (New York, NY).
“The National Center and NCAVP [National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs] began this collaborative survey and report to gain a better understanding of the victim services provided to LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer] victims of crime throughout the United States. The focus of this joint policy report is on the crimes of hate violence and intimate partner violence against LGBTQ people … This report confirms that gaps in services for LGBTQ victims of violence exist and sho... Read More
PDF
25 pages
2009
Document preview
Large Jail Network Meeting, March 29-31. 2009, Aurora, Colorado
By Clem, Constance. Clem Information Strategies (Longmont, CO); National Institute of Corrections. Jails Division (Washington, DC).
Contents of these proceedings are: introduction; meeting take-aways in brief; illegal alien programs; proactive discipline, part 2; PREA update; intersex and transgender issues; Legal Issues in Jails--2009; open forum; announcements; LJN business; final meeting agenda; participant list; and index of past LJN meeting topics.... Read More
PDF
61 p.
2011
Document preview
Criminal Justice? New Fast Facts about Transgender People, Police, and Incarceration
FORGE (Milwaukee, WI).
Highlights from a survey of transgender or gender non-conforming people regarding their involvement with police and experiences while incarcerated are presented. Statistics are presented concerning: the percentage of individuals having contact with police; how comfortable this population is asking for help from the police; individuals assaulted by the police; the percentage of individuals sent to jail or prison; and the percentage of those assaulted while incarcerated. The survey is called “Inju... Read More
PDF
1 page
2011
Document preview
Masculinity as Prison: Sexual Identity, Race, and Incarceration
By Robinson, Russell K..
“The Los Angeles County Men’s Jail segregates gay and transgender inmates and says that it does so to protect them from sexual assault. But not all gay and transgender inmates qualify for admission to the K6G unit. Transgender inmates must appear transgender to staff that inspect them. Gay men must identify as gay in a public space and then satisfactorily answer a series of cultural questions designed to determine whether they really are gay” (p. 1309). The author argues that the policy governin... Read More
PDF
100 pages
2010
Document preview
Toilet Training Companion Guide for Activists and Educators
Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) (New York, NY).
Even though this guide is intended to accompany a video about bathroom access for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, it is an excellent resource that can be used by itself. It aims to “start conversations not only about trans bathroom access, but also about the impact of all sex-segregated facilities (shelters, jails and prisons, group homes, drug treatment facilities, etc.) on people who do not fit within gender norms. This is one of the most controversial and important fronts i... Read More
PDF
23 pages
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