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Managing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Inmates: Is Your Jail Ready?

NCJ Number
Donald L. Leach, II, Ph.D.
Date Published
6 pages
Although this paper focuses on the management of jailed lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) inmates, the focus is on preventing inmate victimization, regardless of sexual orientation.
Most jails have clearly defined policies on the housing, supervision, and management of heterosexual, gay, and lesbian offenders; however, planning for transgender and intersex offenders is generally lacking. A transgender person has an internal sense of gender identity that is different from his/her biological gender. Intersex describes a person with atypical reproductive or sexual characteristics. These individuals were born with indeterminate genital structures that are not entirely male or female. The first question that arises from the processing and management of transgender and intersex inmates is how mid-change transgender and intersex individuals are to be designated in the management information system regarding gender. Specific questions posed by this circumstance are outlined. Questions are also posed in relation to security searches, including whether pat-downs and unclothed searches should be conducted by personnel whose gender is viewed by the inmate as being the same or different from his/her own. Other questions posed by transgender and intersex inmates are related to jail housing, inmate clothing, and medical care. Regarding sexual behavior while jailed, any type of sexually oriented behavior is prohibited, regardless of sexual/gender orientation. The author acknowledges that this paper raises more questions than it answers, since it addresses currently evolving community standards and the implication of these standards for jail management. 2 references