Last year, President Barack Obama called on Congress to reform America’s broken criminal justice system.

Congress is now debating the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015, a bipartisan bill that could have real impact on reducing the number of LGBT people in prison by reducing mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent, low-level offenders. The bill would also limit placement of juveniles in solitary confinement, which can have lasting negative mental health consequences.

This week, the Center for American Progress (CAP) and the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) released a report highlighting how the criminal justice system disproportionately impacts the LGBT community. The report notes that the United States holds five percent of the world’s population, but incarcerates twenty-five percent of people in prisons and jails – roughly 2.2 million adults. Transgender people, LGBT people of color, and those living in low income communities are targeted most frequently by the criminal justice system. These communities experience discrimination throughout the system – from the use of discriminatory profiling and unwarranted arrest, to higher rates of conviction, and harsher sentencing. The report provides comprehensive recommendations for policymakers on ways to reduce LGBT discrimination in the criminal justice system.

Criminal justice reform is of critical importance and HRC will continue to work with Congress and the Administration to address the unique issues facing the LGBT community.

HRC urges Congress to pass the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act.


Filed under: Federal Advocacy, Community

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