and in the prison system (as justification to ignore or perpetrate cases of sexual and physical abuse or to house LGBT people in isolation). Likewise, components of the criminal legal system, from court cases to prisons, produce and maintain myths about particular populations, such as the hypersexual person of color or deceptively predatory transgender person--archetypes that frequently overlap. Stressing that the violent criminalization of queer and transgender people is deeply embedded in U.S. culture and politics, the authors note that efforts to merely reform police forces, courts, or prisons will necessarily fall short. In a chapter focused on hate crimes legislation, Queer (In)Justice argues for a queer politics that seeks justice in spaces other than those of the criminal legal system, which is already a site of violence against marginalized people. They point out that hate crimes laws are easily used to further criminalize bodies already marked as deviant--particularly people of color--and often result in the expansion of policing and prisons. This is a particularly useful section of the book, and though it stops short of taking an explicitly abolitionist stance on prisons, its arguments for deep systemic change rather than reform are eloquently and convincingly stated. The
Radical Teacher – University of Illinois Press
Published: Jan 6, 2011
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