Chelsea Manning’s Mistreatment Viewed as Indicative of the Abuse LGBTQ People Face in Prison

Washington, DC, August 1, 2016—Former Army private Chelsea Manning faces indefinite solitary confinement as a result of administrative charges brought against her, which include a suicide attempt. Manning, a transgender woman, was convicted in 2013 for leaking classified government documents to Wikileaks. The latest incident is part of the ongoing mistreatment Manning has experienced at the men’s military prison at the U.S. Army Disciplinary Barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

“The continued mistreatment and emotional abuse Chelsea Manning faces is horrifying, yet it’s indicative of what most LGBTQ people experience in prison or detention,” said Meghan Maury, Criminal and Economic Justice Project Director, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund. “When compared to the general prison population, LGBTQ prisoners disproportionately experience a wide range of inhumane treatment from sexual abuse by prison staff, to being denied physical and mental health services, to being forced into isolation under the guise of protecting them from the general prison population. In fact, in a recent report by Black and Pink, 85 percent of LGBTQ prisoners reported having been held in solitary confinement at some point during their sentence, despite consistent findings that anything more than 15 days of solitary confinement causes irreversible psychological effects. The cruel and inhumane treatment of LGBTQ people in prison must end, and our government must do more to ensure their fair treatment and safety.”

The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund has met with the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Prison, and the Department of Homeland Security calling for reform in the treatment of LGBTQ people in the prison system and while in detention. Additionally, the organization has been pushing Congress to pass the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. To learn more about the organization’s legislative and policy work, please click here.


Jorge Amaro
Media and Public Relations Director