- The Washington Times - Friday, March 3, 2017

A new study claims that lesbian, gay or bisexual individuals are three times as likely than straight people to end up in prison.

Published in the American Journal of Public Health, the study analyzed responses from more than 80,000 participants to gauge the percentage of sexual minorities who are incarcerated,” NBC News reported Friday.

For the purposes of the study, “sexual minority” is defined as anyone who self-identifies as LGBT or reported same-sex sexual behavior prior to being incarcerated, NBC reported.

All told, some 9.3 percent of men in prison and 6.2 percent in jail fell into the sexual minority category while it was dramatically higher for women, “a staggering 42.1 percent of the female prison population and 35.7 percent of women in jails.”

By comparison, the U.S. population at large, only 3.6 percent of men are gay or bisexual and only 3.4 percent of women are lesbian or bisexual.

The study did not delve into the experience of transgender inmates as “survey instruments were not good enough to provide definitive data,” study author Lara Stemple said, NBC reported.

Ms. Stemple, who serves as director of the Health and Human Rights Law Project at UCLA, expressed her hope that future data collected by the federal government would accurately tally information about transgender inmates, “to take into account the unique needs of this population.”

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