We Don’t Know How Many LGBTQ Youth Are in N.C.’s Juvenile Justice System. That’s a Problem.

North Carolina is one of just three states, along with Alaska and Oklahoma, that don’t explicitly protect LGBTQ youth in their juvenile justice systems from discrimination, according to the advocacy organization Lambda Legal. Now, a year after a reporter first began inquiring about the state’s policy, that’s about to change—somewhat.

The N.C. Department of Public Safety, which oversees the juvenile justice division, is awaiting federal approval of a new policy to protect LGBTQ youth in juvenile detention facilities or prisons. This change will likely affect hundreds of LGBTQ adolescents and teens each year, a group that is overrepresented in the country’s juvenile justice systems and whose members are targeted for physical and sexual assault, federal studies show…

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Indy Week