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Report: US criminal justice system disproportionately targets LGBTI people

Report: US criminal justice system disproportionately targets LGBTI people

Gay man could face jail or the death penalty for doing drag

LGBTI people ‘pay an extraordinarily high price for the failures of the US criminal justice system,’ according to a report released Tuesday (23 February).

Movement Advancement Project (MAP) synthesized data from several recent studies to illustrate how LGBTI people are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement and to have their lives criminalized.

LGBTI people are also treated unfairly once they enter the system, and face unique and considerable challenges to rebuild their lives afterwards.

According to the National Inmate Survey, LGB inmates account for 7.9% of the state and federal prison population – more than double the 3.8% of American adults who identify as LGBTI.

Sixteen percent of respondents to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey said they had been held in jail or prison – with higher rates for transgender women (21%) and lower rates for transgender men (10%) – compared to about 5% of all American adults will spend time in jail or prison during their lives.

A disproportionate 20% of offenders at juvenile detention facilities are LGBTI – about triple the percentage of all youth who identify as LGBTI.

‘It used to be a crime to be LGBT in the United States, and while police are no longer raiding gay bars, LGBT people, especially LGBT people of color, are still disproportionately pushed into the criminal justice system,’ said Ineke Mushovic, executive director of MAP.

‘They are treated unfairly within the system and in correctional settings, and face extraordinary challenges in rebuilding their lives.’