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The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Girls in Juvenile Justice Systems

Recent research finds that youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) are disproportionately incarcerated in juvenile justice systems. These systems have paid little attention to this subgroup in terms of their unique needs and risk factors. Using a feminist perspective, we analyze in-depth interviews with juvenile justice staff to better understand their perceptions about working with these youth. We examine the challenges for staff, for facilities, and for the girls, as well as consider staff recommendations for changes in policies or programs that are needed to support girls who identify as LGBT.