Solitary Confinement and the LGBT Community

In this video Encounter, Rev. Laura Downton from National Religious Coalition Against Torture illuminates a dark reality that is solitary confinement as a means of "protection" for LGBTQIA incarcerated people.


Facts on the matter:

  1. In 2011, the United Nations declared solitary confinement as a means of torture and recommended the banning of this practice with the exception of rare cases in which 15 days should be the maximum time permitted.
  2. Protective custody is often used as a means of "security" for LGBTQIA incarcerated people who are facing regular threats of abuse and sexual assault. This false security is ultimately solitary confinement which often results in serious psychological and physical damage.
  3. LGBTQIA persons are 13 times more likely to face sexual victimization in prisons than those who identify as heterosexual.

What You Do Matters

What would you like to do next with Rev. Laura Downton: Solitary Confinement and the LGBT Community?

Reflection Questions: Solitary Confinement for the LGBT Community

Use the following questions based on Rev. Laura Downton's video "Solitary Confinement and the LGBT Community" for an individual reflection or group discusison.


Extra wide solitaryconfinementreflection

Take what you learned from Rev. Laura Downton's "Solitary Confinement and the LGBT Community" and spend more time reflecting on the ideas she presents. Use these questions for your own reflection or bring them to a group conversation. Learn, Reflect, Grow.
 

  • Have you ever spent a significant amount of time without human contact? If so, what were the effects of this time alone? What does that tell you about your own need for human interaction?

  • In her interview, Rev. Downton speaks on the false security of solitary confinement as protective custody for LGBTQIA incarcerated persons who are facing threats on a regular basis. How can we open up conversations with elected officials on alternatives to this gross injustice?

  • In what ways can you bring to light in your own community the struggles many LGBT people face in prison?

  • Would incarcerating transgender people based on their gender identification as opposed to their sex be a solution? Why or why not?

What You Do Matters

What would you like to do next with Rev. Laura Downton: Solitary Confinement and the LGBT Community?

Take Action


Take a Stand with LGBT Prisoners

This Action provides ways in which to get involved with what's happening with LGBTQIA incarcerated persons in your local community.


  1. Research current policies for LGBT rights in prisons.
  2. Find out if there is an LGBT visitation program in your local community for a nearby prison or jail. If so, join this group and participate!
  3. Request to be a pen pal with a current LGBT prisoner.
  4. With permission from your pen pal or other LGBT prisoner you may know, share their story on social media, with your religious organization and your legislative representatives.
  5. Make it a priority to learn of the specific conditions for LGBT incarcerated persons in your local jails and prisons and report any mistreatment to your local legislatures.
  6. - 8. Share the following posts on social media:

What You Do Matters

What would you like to do next with Rev. Laura Downton: Solitary Confinement and the LGBT Community?

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