Document Type


Publication Date



Over the past three decades, commentators, advocates, and corrections experts have focused increasingly on issues of gender and sexuality in prison. This is due in part to the growing number of women in a generally burgeoning American prison population. It is also attributable to efforts to end custodial sexual abuse and prison sexual violence, which have focused attention on issues relating to women and LGBT prisoners. Also, in part, this heightened attention reflects the influence of growing free-world social movements emphasizing the "intersectionality" of multiple forms of subordination and seeking to secure fair treatment of gay and transgender people.

This Article describes provisions of the recently promulgated American Bar Association Criminal Justice Standards on the Treatment of Prisoners (2010 Standards or Standards) that address issues of gender and sexuality in a correctional setting. Part I describes the road to revision of the ABA standards on prisons and prisoners. Part II deals with the provisions of the 2010 Standards that are particularly relevant to women prisoners, including provisions on screening and classification, pregnant prisoners and new mothers, and co-corrections and equal protection. Part III discusses specific standards that are an outgrowth of the movement to address prison sexual violence, including those dealing with custodial sexual abuse and protection of vulnerable prisoners, as well as cross-gender supervision and privacy. Part III also describes standards affecting lesbian and gay prisoners, and transgender prisoners, reflecting heightened awareness of the special needs of these groups. The Article concludes with a comment on the role of the Bar in establishing correctional policy and practice.

Recommended Citation

38 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 1216 (2012)