Originally publish on The Seattle Lesbian
From Senate Republicans to Hillary Clinton, there is a rare and growing consensus across the political spectrum that, with the highest incarceration rate in the world, the United States’ criminal justice system in need of reform. However, one population has been largely absent from the discussion: lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.
A major report recently released offers the most comprehensive analysis to date of how LGBT people, and particularly LGBT people of color, face higher rates of incarceration and unfair treatment and abuse in the criminal justice system. Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBT People documents how pervasive stigma and discrimination, biased enforcement of laws, and discriminatory policing strategies mean that LGBT people are disproportionately likely to interact with law enforcement and to have their lives criminalized. LGBT people are also treated unfairly once they enter the system; the report shows how they are disproportionately incarcerated and face abuse while incarcerated. Finally, the report sheds light on the fact that LGBT people face unique and considerable challenges in the struggle to rebuild their lives after experiences with law enforcement—and particularly after time spent in a correctional facility.
To illustrate the real impact of these failures in the criminal justice system, the report highlights personal stories of LGBT people impacted by the criminal justice system and spotlights innovative programs, initiatives, and organizations from around the country. Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBT Peoplewas co-authored by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) and the Center for American Progress (CAP), in partnership with Forward Together, JustLeadershipUSA, and Advancement Project. It is available online atlgbtmap.org/criminal-
“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. They are treated unfairly within the system and in correctional settings, and face extraordinary challenges in rebuilding their lives,” said Ineke Mushovic, Executive Director of MAP.
The report synthesizes the latest research and analysis to make the case that LGBT people, especially LGBT people of color and low-income LGBT people, pay an extraordinarily high price for the failures of the U.S. criminal justice system:
The report paints a harrowing picture of the three ways in which the broken system fails LGBT people:
ENTERING THE SYSTEM: INCREASED CRIMINALIZATION OF LGBT PEOPLE
Three factors increase the chances that an LGBT person will be stopped or arrested by police and pushed into the system:
IN THE SYSTEM: LGBT PEOPLE ARE MORE FREQUENTLY INCARCERATED AND TREATED HARSHLY
Within the criminal justice system, LGBT people face two main challenges:
LIFE AFTER CONVICTION: LGBT PEOPLE FACE ADDED CHALLENGES TO REBUILDING LIVES
There are two primary post-conviction challenges for LGBT people:
“As the nation continues to debate how to fix the criminal justice system, it is critical to explore solutions that will improve conditions and ensure fairness for everyone,” said Laura E. Durso, Senior Director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress. “That includes America’s nine million LGBT people who are at increased risk of having their lives and life chances destroyed by the current criminal justice system.”
The post Broken Justice System Targets and Harms LGBT People, Study Finds appeared first on The Next Family.
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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