Peoria County Jail Makes Strides in LGBTQ Inmate Safety

Jul 1, 2019

Peoria County Sheriff Brian Asbell said he has worked over the past year to get the jail into compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act for LGBTQ detainees. 

Asbell said he’s worked with Reverend Marcus Fogliano to help better accomodate transgender inmates.

“What we wanted to do, especially for this population, the transgender population, was create a strong policy," he said. 

An arrestee can choose which gender they are most comfortable with frisking them when they are entering the jail. Asbell said they also take gender identification into account when deciding where to house transgender inmates. 

Asbell said the jail only has one or two transgender inmates at most at any given time, out of a general population around 300. Sometimes, he said the jail can go months without a single transgender inmate. 

Ideally, the Peoria County Jail would have a separate wing for transgender inmates much like the Cook County Jail, but that would require more staffing, Asbell said.