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The Importance of Judges Knowing a Youth's LGBTQ2S+ Identity and the Outcomes of LGBTQ2S+ Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2023
6 pages

This document stresses the importance of judges and the role they play in the lives of youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system; it provides sections that address disproportionate involvement of LGBTQ2S+ youth in the juvenile justice system, the importance of fostering fairness and impartiality, providing appropriate services for LGBTQ2S+ youth with unique needs and vulnerabilities, preventing discrimination and harassment, ensuring appropriate placement, supporting rehabilitation and reintegration, promoting inclusivity, educating stakeholders within the juvenile justice system, and reducing recidivism.


This document aims to encourage judges’ awareness of youth with LGBTQ2S+ identities, and the importance of their roles in those youths’ outcomes and lives, emphasizing the concept of equal justice for all. The document encourages that judges should be aware of a youth’s LGBTQ2S+ identity so they may be aware of suicide risk and may adequately consider safety concerns while the youth are in the juvenile justice system. The document cites research by the Trevor Project; standards set by the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA); and the Supreme Court ruling on Bostock v. Clayton County which prohibits discrimination based on sex and includes sexual orientation, gender identity, and intersex traits. The document provides a summary of the various reasons why judges’ knowledge of a youth’s LGBTQ2S+ status and the overall court’s outcome data regarding LGBTQ2S+ youth is important in the juvenile justice system and how it may contribute to a more just and equitable process for LGBTQ2S+ youth.

Date Published: November 1, 2023