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

U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Transgender People Are Protected Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

August 16, 2022. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit today affirmed that transgender people who experience gender dysphoria are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. The ruling reverses a Virginia district court’s dismissal of claims brought by Kesha Williams, a transgender woman who was incarcerated in a men’s detention facility, denied access to medical treatment for her gender dysphoria, and faced persistent harassment by other inmates and prison deputies.



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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