Toward Equity: A Training Curriculum for Understanding Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression, and Developing Competency to Serve Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth in the Juvenile Justice System
Published Dec 11, 2015, The Equity Project
Despite the outstanding work of many dedicated juvenile justice system professionals who have tirelessly advocated on behalf of LGBT youth, many LGBT youth across the country continue to face bias, harassment, and unfair treatment throughout the course of their delinquency cases. In addition, many juvenile justice professionals lack an understanding of the unique challenges confronting LGBT youth, which limits their ability to fulfill their professional and ethical responsibilities. Collaborative action is needed to address the systemic deficiencies that undermine fairness and equity for LGBT youth in the nation’s juvenile justice systems.
The Equity Project envisions a fair and rehabilitative juvenile justice system that treats every young person with dignity, respect, and fairness, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression (SOGIE). In 2009, The Equity Project published Hidden Injustice, an in-depth report about the experiences of LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system, with concrete recommendations for systemic reform. Following the release of that report, The Equity Project received increasing numbers of training requests from a variety of juvenile justice stakeholders around the country. With heightened public awareness of the disproportionate representation of LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system and their unique vulnerability, these training requests continue to increase. Hidden Injustice remains the fundamental report used among advocates and juvenile justice professionals to educate juvenile justice professionals about the criminalization and unfair treatment of LGBT youth.
We developed this national training curriculum in response to the growing call for training and to fill a gap in existing resources. Toward Equity is the first comprehensive, interactive program dedicated to LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system (as opposed to other youth-serving systems) and flows from the information and recommendations in Hidden Injustice.