LGBTQ Overrepresentation, Experience, and Mental Health Outcomes in Federal and State Prisons by State



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The LGBTQ community is overrepresented in most, if not all, components of the U.S. criminal justice system, including sentencing, incarceration, and solitary confinement. Using the Bureau of Justice Statistics' Annual Survey of Prison Inmates (hereafter SoPI), this study examined patterns of over-representation, potential different treatment by prison staff, and mental health outcomes for LGBTQ people sampled by the survey across various states. By ranking states on these measures, this study assesses possible relationships to key socioeconomic factors. This strategy identified LGBTQ overrepresentation and poor treatment in U.S. federal and state prisons and highlights some ways in which the SoPI is lacking vital information to examine aspects of this issue. It therefore suggests that in the future different sampling methods or larger sample sizes may be needed to adequately assess this subpopulation.