Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth are among the most vulnerable populations at every stage of the juvenile justice system and Wayne County - Detroit in particular - is home to the largest proportion of justice-involved youth in the state.
Research shows that LGBTQ youth are twice as likely to be arrested and held in secure detention/confinement for truancy, warrants, probation violations, running away, and sex work. Moreover, about 20% of the overall population of youth in detention/confinement identifies as LGBTQ—almost three times the estimated number in the United States. Of the LGBTQ youth in detention/confinement, about 85% are young people of color. While incarcerated, these children are seven times more likely to be sexually assaulted and are at extreme risk of self-harm and solitary confinement than their straight-identified peers.
MCCD is working in partnership with the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit to create a LGBTQ-affirming juvenile justice system in Wayne County that does not criminalize LGBTQ youth, appropriately addresses their unique needs in community-based settings, and prevents harms associated with detention and incarceration.