Criminal Justice System & Prisons
LGBT and HIV-positive individuals often experience unique difficulties when dealing with the criminal justice system. At best, the system is poorly designed to accommodate and serve the needs of GLAD’s community. At worst, it is overtly and deliberately hostile.
Antiquated anti-gay “sodomy” laws have been struck down, but other criminal laws related to sex—statutes that may be neutral on their face—are often enforced in a discriminatory way against gay men. In prison, LGBT individuals are frequently targeted for mistreatment and physical or sexual attacks. Prison officials may participate in such abuse, turn their backs on it, or lack institutional tools to adequately protect LGBT inmates. Transgender inmates and people with HIV may face additional difficulties gaining access to appropriate medical treatment.
GLAD’s Work On This Issue
Criminal law can be bewilderingly complex and stressful. Though this area is not the primary focus of GLAD's work, it can affect LGBT and HIV-positive people in dramatic ways. Because of this, GLAD makes every effort to provide people with resources and connections with experts in the field.