LGBTQ youths in the juvenile justice system
Call Number: J 32.2:L 56/2
Publication Date: 2014
Youths’ sexual orientations and gender identities are complex. Youths experience an ongoing process of sexual development as they mature into young adults. Adolescence presents a time in people’s lives when they are unsure of themselves and begin to question who they are (Poirier et al. 2014; IOM 2011). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youths may present unique challenges in the juvenile justice system. Research has shown that LGBTQ youths are more likely to confront certain barriers and environmental risk factors connected to their sexual orientations and gender identities. For example, compared with their heterosexual classmates and peers, LGBTQ youths are more likely to experience bullying at school (Mitchum and Moodie–Mills 2014), more likely to experience rejection or victimization perpetrated by their parents/caregivers (often resulting in youths’ running away from home) [Friedman et al. 2011], more likely to face homelessness (Burwick et al. 2014), twice as likely to be arrested and detained for status offenses and other nonviolent offenses (Irvine 2010), and at higher risk for illicit drug use (Heck et al. 2014).