Home > Out on the Inside: The rights, experiences and needs of LGBT people in prison.

Carr, Nicola and McAlister, Siobhan and Serisier, Tanya (2016) Out on the Inside: The rights, experiences and needs of LGBT people in prison. Dublin: Irish Penal Reform Trust.

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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people have long been a ‘hidden’ or overlooked population in prisons, both in Ireland and internationally. In recent years, however, international research and policy has begun to focus on the experiences and needs of this group of prisoners. This research, as summarised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC, 2009) has revealed a range of issues that affect LGBT individuals in prison. This includes heteronormativity, homophobia and transphobia both within and outside prison, the threat of physical and sexual violence within prison, institutional discrimination and neglect, health needs, and social isolation.

The Yogyakarta Principles (ICJ, 2007), a set of standards which apply human rights law to issues of sexual orientation and gender identity, specifically address the need to adequately meet the rights of LGBT people in detention. This includes the need to provide adequate placements, appropriate protective measures and access to medical care. These principles also emphasise the importance of independent monitoring of detention facilities by the State, as well as by non-governmental organisations working in the areas of sexual orientation and gender identity. The recent passage of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act (2014), which sets out the positive duties of public bodies to eliminate discrimination, promote equality and protect human rights, adds further impetus to address this area.

This report represents the first study of the needs and experiences of LGBT prisoners within the Irish context1. The themes raised are drawn from considerations of human rights and equality, and placed within the context of international literature and policy, although the limitations of transferability are noted.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Harm reduction
48 p.
Irish Penal Reform Trust
Place of Publication

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