Police and the Criminalization of LGBT People

September 2019

This chapter describes the experiences of LGBT people with law enforcement, which include discriminatory targeting, harassment, and violence, as well as potential remedies such as community engagement and the revision of local and federal policies. It was published in the Cambridge Handbook on Policing in the United States.

Harmful policing strategies and tactics can push LGBT people, particularly young, low-income and LGBT people of color, into the criminal justice system.
Negative interactions with law enforcement—involving misconduct, harassment, assault, sexual victimization, and discrimination—result in weaker trust in law enforcement among LGBT people.
LGBT adults and youth are disproportionately incarcerated and are subjected to longer sentences, sexual victimization, harassment, and inadequate access to healthcare.

Please contact our communications office to request a copy of this chapter.

Police and the Criminalization of LGBT People