Criminalization & Incarceration

Photo Courtesy Erik McGregor Photography

LGBTQ people—especially low-income LGBTQ people of color—are disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system. LGBTQ individuals experience significantly higher rates of joblessness and poverty than the general population, leading many to turn to underground economies like sex work or drug sales for income. Police bias, abuse and profiling of LGBTQ people—especially trans women of color—means more LGBTQ people are targeted by law enforcement. These factors, together with widespread discrimination and social marginalization, contribute to the significant overrepresentation of LGBTQ people in prisons and jails.


Legislation & Policy

Cases & Advocacy

Edmo v. Idaho Department of Correction


NCLR, along with co-counsel Rifkin Law Office, Hadsell Stormer & Renick LLP, and Ferguson Durham, PLLC, represents Adree Edmo, a Native American transgender woman in the custody of the Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC).



Press Release

NCLR Applauds Representatives Khanna and Lee, Senator Warren for Introducing Federal Sex Worker Bill

December 17, 2019. Today, on International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, Representatives Ro Khanna and Barbara Lee, and Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced the “SESTA/FOSTA Examination of Secondary Effects for Sex Workers Study Act,” or the “SAFE SEX Workers Study Act.” The bill requires a federal study on how losing access to online platforms impacts the health and safety of people in the commercial sex trade.



The Impact of Cash Bail on LGBTQ People and People Living with HIV

LGBTQ individuals disproportionately interact with the criminal justice system and are often the victims of this cash bail system. LGBTQ people are more likely to be assessed a higher bail than others because they are seen as greater flight risks and more likely to be a danger to the community based on stereotypes and perceptions that LGBTQ people are not connected to families or communities.  Read more

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