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Life Behind Bars for GBT Inmates at the K6G

At the Los Angeles County Men's Central Jail, a separate wing exists for gay, bisexual, and transgender inmates. Since its creation, the unit has gained a reputation as one of the safer, community-oriented units.

But getting in isn't easy. A series of questions, past incarcerations, arrest records, and resources are utilized to determine whether an inmate can be classified for this special unit. If one doesn't pass, it's back to the general population.

The unit, known as the K6G, is home to approximately 360 GBT inmates. It was established in 1985 after the ACLU filed a lawsuit urging for the protection and prevention of assault against LGBT inmates.

Under Prop 47, the Men's Central Jail has released approximately four K6G inmates to date. The proposition seeks to reduce the sentence for inmates charged with low-level felonies, and reclassifies some charges as misdemeanors.

While instances of sexual assault and violence do occur, it is very rarely reported at the K6G unit. In some cases, non-GBT inmates have even attempted to gain entrance to the coveted unit because it is considered safer than the general inmate population. Many K6G inmates report feeling safer and less likely to wind up as victims of racial slurs and sexual assault.

In this segment of "SoCal Connected," reporter Val Zavala tours the K6G unit and interviews GBT inmates charged with nonviolent felonies for a closer look at what happens behind bars.

Featuring Interviews With:

  • Dino Baglioni, inmate
  • Nicholas Steward, inmate
  • Erica Anderson, inmate
  • Stephen Stevens, inmate
  • Melissa Goodman, ACLU of Southern California
  • Deputy Javier Machado, L.A. County Sheriff's Department

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