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Crime

LGBT people are more likely to end up behind bars

Bobby Rae December 27, 2016
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solitary confinement

A former inmate has claimed that LGBT+ prisoners are disproportionately subjected to solitary confinement. (Creative Commons)

A new study has revealed LGBT people are disproportionately more likely to end up in prison.

According to a report published in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers at the University of California Los Angeles also discovered sexual minorities are more likely to end up in solitary confinement, more likely to be mistreated by staff and sexually assaulted.

Researchers recorded that the number of people who identified as LGBT before being sent to prison or jail (for the purpose of the research, defined as a place for people awaiting trial or serving less than one year) in comparison to the general population was “disproportionately high”.

The figures showed 9.3 percent of men in prison were LGBT, 6.2 percent in jails, 42.1 percent of women in prison identified as LGBT and 35.7 percent in jails.

The incarceration rate for LGBT people was 1882 per 100,000 – believed to be around three times more than the general population.

NewNowNext reported lead author Ilan Meyer said the results were so shocking they had to check it several times to make sure it was correct.

“The high rate was so shocking, I had to check it three times to make sure we weren’t making any mistakes,” he said.

“We’ve received mixed reactions—some people still don’t believe it. However, there is no reason to suspect it or think there’s an error.”

Lesbian and bisexual women were also jailed for longer periods of time than straight women.

Gay and bisexual men were more likely to be serving sentences of ten years or more.

Earlier this month, teenage girls who were arrested for “hugging and kissing” were acquitted.

Recently, it was reported trans whistleblower Chelsea Manning attempted suicide while in solitary confinement.

Related topics: America, american journal of public health, prison, report, UCLA, University of California, US, US

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