Coming Out of Concrete Closets: A Report on Black and Pink's National LGBTQ Prisoner Survey

by Hana Low; Jason Lydon; Kamaria Carrington; Mahsa Yazdy; Reed Miller

Oct 21, 2015
This report lifts up the voices of LGBTQ prisoners from across the United States so that they can inform, shape, and lead the movement for prisoner justice. These numbers, statistics, and stories represent the largest ever collection of information from LGBTQ prisoners. This collection of information is possible because of the time taken by 1,118 prisoners across the United States to handwrite responses to our 133-question survey, which was itself designed/drafted with prisoners themselves. Black & Pink's free world leadership extends the utmost thanks to prisoner members who took the time to help design and respond to the National LGBTQ Prisoner Survey and for sharing their deeply personal and valuable stories of harm and resilience. This report will be printed in the Black & Pink newspaper for all prisoner members to read. Along with the report, there will be space for responses and reflections that will be compiled into a supplementary report to be released in Spring/Summer of 2016. LGBTQ people, particularly people of color and poor people, experience high levels of policing and criminalization, leading to arrest and incarceration. Once inside prison, LGBTQ people are subjected to constant violence by both prison staff and other prisoners. This report seeks to offer a tool for organizers, both inside and outside of prisons, to strengthen national campaigns and grassroots efforts to alleviate the immediate suffering of prisoners and bring an end to the prison industrial complex while centering the needs of LGBTQ prisoners.
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