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National Center for Lesbian Rights

Legislation & Policy

LGBTQ Prisoner Advocacy

Status: Open

Outcome: Active

Location: Nationwide

NCLR works at the local, state and federal levels to ensure that LGBTQ prisoners are as safely housed as possible and have access to life-saving medical care.

LGBTQ people housed in prisons and jails face dire problems related to their sexuality and gender identity. They are often placed in segregated housing “for their own protection,” which deprives them of jobs, education, and other programming that could shorten their sentences and better prepare them for release.

When prisoners are placed in solitary confinement, they typically spend 23 hours a day alone in their cells with only an hour to exercise or bathe (also alone). Solitary confinement is extremely dangerous to prisoners’ mental health. Transgender prisoners also encounter serious problems obtaining hormones and other medical care, and are at extreme risk of being sexually assaulted by staff or other inmates.

We will continue to work with local, state, and federal officials to ensure that LGBTQ prisoners are as safe as possible, that transgender prisoners are housed in accordance with their gender identity, and that LGBTQ prisoners have access to proper medical care.

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