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What Comes Next

There are reasons to be concerned. But we must and we will push back against any attempts to normalize discrimination and hate, even as we steadfastly continue our work in the courts and at the state level to protect and advance justice for all.

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If you don’t feel safe, or your rights aren’t being respected in the juvenile justice system, contact us now for free & confidential help.

Juvenile Justice

Know Your Rights

Safety and Non-Discrimination

  • All participants in the juvenile justice system should treat you without discrimination based on your sexual orientation, gender identity and HIV status. This includes the prosecutor, your attorney, the probation department and the agency serving youth in state custody.

This means

  • You have the right to safe and appropriate placements free from discrimination or harassment based on your actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
  • If you have an attorney, your attorney should be educated on representing LGBTQ youth.
  • You have the right to be open about your sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
  • You have the right to be identified by your chosen name and pronouns and to wear clothing consistent with your gender identity.
  • You are entitled to protection from physical, emotional or sexual abuse by other youth or facility staff.
  • A facility’s response to harassment or violence against you cannot be to move you to a more restrictive facility or to isolate you.
  • You cannot be segregated or classified as a sex offender based on myths that LGBTQ youth prey on other youth.

Equal Treatment and Services

  • You have the right to equal treatment and to access appropriate services while in the juvenile justice system.

This means

  • You must have access to appropriate medical or mental health care, both for general services and for any medical services that may be unique to you as an LGBTQ youth.
  • Medical care should not be conditioned on good behavior or withheld as a punishment.
  • You should not be forced to undergo improper or disreputable services damaging to your well-being, such as reparative or conversion therapy.
  • You may not be disciplined for engaging in age-appropriate romantic or sexual conduct that would not be punished between two different-sex youth.
  • You have the right to be free from religious indoctrination by facility staff that condemns or disparages your sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

MA DYS Makes It Better For LGBTQI Youth In State Custody

With a new policy and guidelines, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services is striving to go beyond mere non-discrimination to create a safe & affirming environment for all youth. Read more

Check It Out!

Black and Pink

Strives to end violence against LGBT individuals in the criminal justice system.

Know Your Rights in the Criminal Justice System

Check out GLAD's victories related to the justice system and find out the work that still needs to be done.

Equity Project

Works to ensure fairness and respect for LGBT youth in Juvenile Deliquency Court.

More Great Resources →


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