Dear Director Ryan;
Don't just take an anarchist's word for it - your LGBTQ prisoners are in danger all across the state, and there's no reason to not work with them and their commuity allies on a reasonable policy to minimize the risks they face in your custody. Your colleagues here don't have the best ideas for how to intervene in the problem, but at least they have the courage to recognize the realities unfolding in front of them. Your people are either lying to you about placing these prisoners in grave danger despite repeated requests for protection, or you have been knowingly complict in the harm befalling them. In any case, as AZ DOC director, you are ultimately responsible for remedying this situation - or paying for failing to do so. Your choice.
This web page has been developed in an effort to provide current and useful information to correctional agencies regarding the safe and respectful management of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) offenders. Relying on a best practices approach, this information will enable corrections staff to make better informed decisions about the safety, security, treatment and care of LGBTI offenders by providing academic, cultural and legal perspectives of the issues that make this group unique.
Particular topics for consideration include intake procedures, classification, placement and housing, medical and mental health care and treatment, suicide prevention, potential victimization, policy development, staff and offender education, and supervision in the community, as well as other related areas.
For example, surveys conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicate that non-heterosexual adult offenders report higher rates of sexual victimization while in custody, and similar surveys in juvenile facilities show even higher rates of sexual victimization among non-heterosexual juvenile offenders. Similarly, a 2009 research report cited findings that transgender offenders experienced sexual victimization at a rate thirteen times higher than a random sampling of offenders in the same facility. Such evidence indicates that LGBTI offenders are at increased risk for sexual victimization while in custody, and agencies that ignore this may be placing themselves at risk for litigation.
Changes in federal and state legislation, court decisions, settlement agreements and the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards are also important factors in the management of LGBTI offenders in correctional settings and should be carefully reviewed.
Agencies wishing to examine and improve their response to the management of LGBTI offenders may apply for limited, short-term technical assistance to aid their efforts.