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Pelletier, Elizabeth

This report focuses on LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning] youth who become involved in the commercial sex market to meet basic survival needs, describing their experiences with law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and the child welfare system. Interviews with these youth reveal that over 70 percent had been arrested at least once, with many reporting frequent arrest for “quality-of-life” and misdemeanor crimes other than prostitution offenses. Youth described their experiences of being cycled in and out of the justice system as highly disruptive and generating far-reaching collateral consequences ranging from instability in the home and school to inability to pay fines and obtain lawful employment. This report is part of a larger three-year Urban Institute study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth; young men who have sex with men (YMSM); and young women who have sex with women (YWSW) engaged in survival sex. Sections of this report cover: highlights; literature review; study goals and methodology; LGBTQ youth interactions with and perspectives of law enforcement—youth demographics, what type of interactions, whom do youth turn to when in trouble, and concluding thoughts; criminal justice system responses to LGBTQ youth, YMSMS, and YWSW—LGBTQ affirming policies and practices, the challenges the criminal justice system must face in addressing this population, what stakeholders need to better serve theses youth, and the role the criminal justice system must play for LGBTQ youth engaged in survival sex; child welfare stakeholder perspectives—how the child welfare system responds to these youth; and the role the child welfare system faces addressing this population; LGBTQ youth perspectives on child welfare; LGBTQ youths' experiences in the child welfare system, perspectives on these experiences, concluding thoughts; discussion and summary; policy and practice recommendations; and how these agencies can be improved according to young people.

Locked In: Interactions with the Criminal Justice and Child Welfare Systems for LGBTQ Youth, YMSM, and YWSW Who Engage in Survival Sex Cover

"Roughly 2.2 million people are locked up in prison or jail; 7 million are under correctional control, which includes parole and probation; and more than $80 billion is spent on corrections every year. Research has shown that policy changes over the past four decades have put more people in prison and kept them there longer, leading to exponential growth in the prison population even while crime has dropped to historic lows. But despite widespread agreement that mass incarceration is a serious problem, the national conversation is light on details about what it will take to achieve meaningful and sustainable reductions … To advance the policy conversation, decisionmakers and the public need to know the impact of potential policy changes. Our Prison Population Forecaster can estimate the effect, by state, of policies that aim to reduce prison admissions and length of stay for the most common types of offenses. The tool currently uses data from 15 states, representing nearly 40 percent of the national prison population, to forecast population trends and project the impact of changes on rates of admission or lengths of stay in prison … This forecasting tool paves the way for a more productive conversation about the need for tailored reforms that address the unique drivers of mass incarceration in each jurisdiction" (p.1). This website provides interactive access to these statistics comprising the Forecaster: select one of 15 states or all states; select offense/admission type—violent, nonviolent, property, drug, revocations, and all offenses; select policy change—reduce new admissions, and reduce length of stay; and state percent reduction—reduce by 5%, 10%, 25%, and 50%. The article looks at: the reforms needed to reduce mass incarceration at the state level; rethinking who goes to prison and how long they stay; and whether there is any low-hanging fruit left—more methods to reduce national prison populations.

The Prison Population Forecaster//State Prison Population Cover

"All crime data have flaws, but sexual assault data are notoriously inaccurate. Why are these data so problematic? And what are the consequences for how we address sexual violence in the United States? Data on rape and sexual assault suffer from inconsistent estimates and underreporting, leading to misunderstandings about the extent of the problem and adequate policy solutions. Let’s look at two major sources of information on the topic: survey-based studies that estimate prevalence of sexual assaults and criminal justice system data. In this post, we look at data on female victims of sexual violence, since most existing reports and statistics focus on women. Data on sexual assault against men are especially sparse; we know even less about the experiences of male victims" (p. 1). Sections cover: two different surveys, two different stories—National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) and the National Intimate Partner Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS); and why criminal justice data can be misleading.

Why do rates of sexual assault prevalence vary from report to report? cover
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