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Understanding the Role of Trauma and Violence Exposure on Justice-Involved LGBTQA and GNC Youth in Hennepin County, MN

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2019
97 pages
This report describes and discusses the methodology and findings of a survey of 150 youth in Hennepin County, Minnesota, intended to examine the role of trauma and violence in the lives of justice-involved lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning/unsure, or asexual (LGBTQA) youth, as well as gender non-conforming (GNC) youth.
In addition, a subset of 60 youth were interviewed, using the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire Revised Version 2 (JVQ-R2) and the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) tool in assessing trauma and victimization. Eighteen percent of the youth surveyed identified as LGBTQA, and 21 percent reported they had experienced rejection based on their GNC. Youth who identified as LGBTQA/GNC were more likely than heterosexual/gender conforming youth to have been homeless, but they had similar levels of child welfare involvement, stays in human services placement, prior detention and correctional placements, and criminal history scores. LGBTQA/GNC youth responded "yes" to an average of 4.5 of the 10 adverse childhood experiences included in the tool, compared with 2.53 for heterosexual/gender conforming youth. More LGBTQA/GNC youth also reported peer harassment, verbal abuse, neglect, and various forms of sexual violence compared to heterosexual/gender conforming youth; however, there were no differences between groups regarding delinquency experiences. Results indicated that experiences with child maltreatment and need for protection were related to age of entry into the justice system, regardless of gender identity or expression. Information is provided in this report on how corrections agencies can better work with justice-involved LGBTQA/GNC youth and the importance of being a trauma-informed organization. Specific implications for Hennepin County are discussed. 22 tables, 3 figures, 73 references, and appended study instruments

Date Published: March 1, 2019