Based on a new study, it appears LGBT individuals are three times more likely to go to prison than the general population.
UCLA researchers looked at people who were arrested and identified as LGBT and found that 9.3 percent of men who went to prison were LGBT and 42.1 percent of women who went to prison were LGBT. The figures were slightly lower for those going to “jail.” Overall, the LGBT rate of incarceration was 1,882 per 100,000, which is far higher than that of the general population. The research also suggests that gay men and women received longer prison sentences than their straight counterparts. The findings were recently published in a report in the American Journal of Public Health.
Ilan Meyer, the lead author of NewNowNext, explained his surprise at these findings: “The high rate was so shocking, I had to check it three times to make sure we weren’t making any mistakes….We’ve received mixed reactions—some people still don’t believe it. However, there is no reason to suspect it or think there’s an error.”
So, this leaves us pondering if the criminal system is skewed against the LGBT community or if the lack of tolerance and support many LGBT individuals face leads to greater criminal behavior? What do you think?