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  • Writer's pictureJoey Amato

Organizations Team to Support 2SLGBTQ Youth Juvenile Justice System Reform


The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), with funding provided by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, is collaborating with the National Center for Youth with Diverse Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Expression (The National SOGIE Center) to support essential juvenile justice system reforms addressing the needs of justice-involved Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, and Two-Spirit plus youth. Also lending support and input are other national organizations, including the Coalition for Juvenile Justice, the Gault Center, and the Tribal Law and Policy Institute.

 

The Pride Justice Resource Center has a vision for our nation’s juvenile justice system to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ2S+ youth and ensure that all are treated with dignity and respect. The necessity of this resource center is amplified by recent research showing that up to 20% of the youth in America’s juvenile detention facilities identify as LGBT, questioning, or gender non-conforming. That’s almost three times their estimated number in the general population. Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) researchers found that LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit youth are subject to high rates of peer victimization, truancy, and discipline resulting from hostile school environments. 


LGBTQ2S+ youth are often rejected by caregivers and ostracized from their homes resulting in disproportionate numbers experiencing homelessness nationwide, estimated at 40%. Without stable housing, LGBTQ2S+ youth can turn to theft, survival sex, and the selling of illegal substances to survive, putting them at greater risk of arrest and incarceration.The website is a hub of information and provides training and technical assistance opportunities for juvenile justice practitioners and stakeholders to enhance their capacity, knowledge, and skills to improve and strengthen overall outcomes for justice-involved LGBTQ2S+ youth. The NCJFCJ and its collaborators want to provide professionals working in the juvenile justice system with the skills to collect data, assess their practices, reform the courts, and affirm the sexual orientation and gender identity of LGBTQ2S+ youth, along with increasing the ease of accessibility to evidence-based practices and current data. The significant overrepresentation and documented vulnerability of LGBTQ2S+ youth in the juvenile justice system prompted recent changes in law and policy that impact practice. For more information, visit the website.

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