Many juvenile justice systems don't know how many young people in their system identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) and often lack appropriate policies that meet their unique needs … This webinar discussed the need for agency policies to support LGBT young people in the juvenile justice system. Participants learned how the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services [DYS] and Santa Clara County Probation Department [SCCPD] developed policies for LGBT youth in their system, as well as different strategies for creating similar policies in state- and county-based systems (website). This zip file contains: SCCPD Stakeholder Invitation; SCCPD Transgender Procedure Guidelines; SCCPD Transgender Preference Form; SCCPD Cultural Competence Form; Santa Clara, County Counsel Memorandum; Massachusetts DYS Official Policy; and presentation slides.
“Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth are twice as likely as other youth to be sent to a juvenile detention facility for committing “status offenses” such as truancy or running away from home. LGBTQ youth are also overrepresented in the juvenile justice system generally, and once in the system are more likely to be the target of abuse and violence, including at the hands of other youth. LGBTQ youth may also receive overly harsh punishments due to biased decision-making or misguided attempts to keep them “safe” through the use of unnecessary isolated housing. How can systems more appropriately serve youth who commit status offenses and are LGBTQ?” This webinar will explain how your agency can do this. Topics covered include: why LGBT youth are particularly vulnerable; zero tolerance policies and LGBT youth; when safety nets and support systems fail; the need for this training; factors leading to juvenile justice system involvement; common experiences in locked facilities; sexual victimization; isolation; classification; lack of understanding; recommendations from the National Standards for the Care of Youth Charged with Status Offenses and LGBTQ youth; principles for responding to status offenses; avoiding or limiting court involvement; recommendations for LGBTQ youth; helping LGBTQ youth avoid court involvement for status offenses; and responding to LGBTQ youth who may have committed status offenses.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, youth continue to be significantly over-represented in the nation’s juvenile justice system, even as overall rates of youth incarceration are on the decline … This brief [explains] what works for LGBT youth by outlining the critical components of model juvenile justice policies that are already being implemented around the country and offers sample language that all jurisdictions can adopt (p. 1-2). Sections of this publication cover: LGBT youth experience high rates of discrimination and abuse; model policies exist and are working; nondiscrimination provisions—nondiscrimination and gender presentation; screening and intake; classification and housing placement—limits on isolation and segregation of LGBT youth, placement decisions based on gender identity, and classification decisions based on individualized assessment; confidentiality; privacy and safety of transgender youth; respectful communication-- no demeaning language, and preferred name and pronoun use; access to LGBT supports; medical and mental health services and treatment-- specific medical and mental health care needs of transgender youth, counseling should not try to change LGBT identity, sex-offender treatment, and provide appropriate medical and mental health care; staff training and policy dissemination; youth education and policy dissemination; and enforcement. These policy guidelines reflect the best practices already in place around the country. All jurisdictions should adopt similar measures to ensure that LGBT youth under the supervision of the juvenile justice system are treated fairly, are free from harm, and receive the supportive treatment and services they deserve (p. 13).