QUEER VOICES

Why Are There So Many Queer And Trans Kids In The Criminal Justice System?

Contrary to the common refrain of “it gets better,” a new reportfinds that the unique challenges facing LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming youth actually make them more susceptible to engagement with our justice system when compared to their straight, cisgender peers, particularly among queer and trans youth of color.

Twenty percent of young people in the American juvenile andcriminal justice systems identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or gender-nonconforming, according to a report co-authored by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) and the Center for American Progress (CAP). Eighty-five percent of those young people are also people of color. This figure is troubling, and disproportionate to the 7–9% of young people who identify as LGBTQ or GNC in the general population.

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