Back to top

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Offenders

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Offenders Cover

This webpage 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 correctional 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.

Division: 
Community Services Division