This report offers a snapshot of how the U.S. criminal justice fails lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queera (LGBTQ) youth. As shown in the graphic on page 1, LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in juvenile detention centers: the percentage of LGBT and gender nonconforming youth in juvenile detention is double that of LGBTQ youth in the general population. LGBTQ youth, particularly LGBTQ youth of color, face discrimination and stigma that lead to criminalization and increased interactions with law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Once within juvenile and criminal justice systems, LGBTQ youth face bias in adjudication and mistreatment and abuse in confinement facilities. Finally, LGBTQ youth lack supportive services when leaving the criminal justice system, often forcing them back into negative interactions with law enforcement.

This report is a companion to a larger report released in February 2016 entitled Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBT People. That report focuses on the larger LGBT population and provides more detailed analyses and statistics, innovative programs and personal stories, and detailed recommendations. This companion report is designed to highlight the key issues that arise for LGBTQ youth within the criminal justice system.