Adolescents institutionalized in foster care and juvenile justice facilities are overwhelmingly members of the communities most affected by, and at risk for, HIV/AIDS—low-income youth, African-American and Latino youth, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender youth, and survivors of violence and other abuse. For many of these youth, the path to state custody may have included a period of living on the streets and engaging in substance abuse and sex in exchange for money or drugs.
It is critical that youth in state custody are provided comprehensive, LGBTQ-inclusive sexual health care, including the information and education necessary to make healthful decisions, and an environment that is respectful and responsive to the health needs of youth of all sexual orientations and gender identities. The Resource Bank includes resources that address issues such as access to health care, HIV prevention, youth rights, and rights and needs specific to LGBTQ youth.
Juvenile Injustice: The Unfufilled Rights of Youth in State Custody to Comprehensive Sexual Health Care, The Center for HIV Law and Policy
This is the first legal report and guide on the rights of youth in detention and foster care facilities to comprehensive sexual health care, including sexual medical care, sexuality education, and staff training on sexual orientation and the needs and rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. This publication analyzes the foundation of this right and the sexual health care needs of youth in out-of-home care
Hidden Injustice: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth in Juvenile Courts
The Equity Project
This report, published in late 2009, examines the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth in juvenile courts nationwide. Despite the fact that LGBT youth comprise a significant portion (up to 13%) of youth in detention, they remain invisible to many juvenile justice professionals and are often treated unfairly and harshly in the justice system.
Drawing from first-hand accounts of more than 50 LGBT youth and in-depth interviews of more than 60 juvenile court judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors, probation officers, and detention staff from across the country, Hidden Injustice sheds light on the numerous barriers to fair and effective treatment of court-involved LGBT youth. The report provides juvenile justice professionals, policymakers, and advocates with detailed practice and policy recommendations to help them address these problems. The Appendix includes a model non-discriminatory services policy and a sample court order to ensure a transgender youth receives appropriate medical and mental health services related to gender transition. Click here to download.
Potential for Change: Public Attitudes and Policy Preferences for Juvenile Justice Systems Reform, Center for Children's Law and Policy
As part of a Models for Change program funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Center for Children's Law and Policy issued a report on a poll it commissioned to determine public attitudes about the value of juvenile justice reforms, and public preferences for investment of funds dealing with juvenile offenders.
CCLP reported, in part, that a significant majority of those polled believe that funds would be better spent on counseling, education, and job training for youth in trouble; that treatment and services are more effective ways to deal with youth than incarceration; and that the juvenile justice system treats low-income youth, African American youth, and Hispanic youth unfairly, and far worse than middle-class youth who are suspected of committing similar offenses. Click here to download.