Criminal Justice System and Sexual Orientation

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people interact with the criminal justice system for a variety of reasons, including community-based interactions with law enforcement personnel (LEP), reporting crimes, being incarcerated after perpetrating crimes, and working in the criminal justice system. In light of the historical discord between LEP and LGB people and ongoing societal discrimination, LGB people may have unique needs when interacting with LEP and criminal justice professionals. Community policing and an emphasis on intercultural communication have increased LGB-specific training for LEP. This entry addresses the historical relationship between LEP and LGB people, LGB people’s perceptions of the criminal justice system, LGB people’s interactions with and needs within the criminal justice system, and efforts to create an LGB-affirming criminal justice system.

Historical Context

Historically, there have ...

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