In a bold and innovative argument, a rising legal star shows readers how the mass incarceration of a disproportionate number of black men amounts to a devastating system of racial control. This is a terrifying reality that exists in the UK as much as in the US. Despite the triumphant dismantling of the Jim Crow laws, the system that once forced African-Americans into a segregated second-class citizenship still haunts and the criminal justice system still unfairly targets black men and deprives an entire segment of the population of their basic rights.
Since the 1980s, when the War on Drugs kicked into high gear and prison populations soared, the increase in women's rate of incarceration has steadily outpaced that of men. In "Breaking Women," Jill A. McCorkel draws upon four years of on-the-ground research in a major US women's prison to uncover why tougher drug policies have so greatly affected those incarcerated there, and how the very nature of punishment in women's detention centers has been deeply altered as a result. Through compelling interviews with prisoners and state personnel, McCorkel reveals that popular so-called "habilitation" drug treatment programs force women to accept a view of themselves as inherently damaged, aberrant addicts in order to secure an earlier release. These programs work to enforce stereotypes of deviancy that ultimately humiliate and degrade the women. The prisoners are left feeling lost and alienated in the end, and many never truly address their addiction as the programs' organizers may have hoped. A fascinating and yet sobering study "Breaking Women" foregrounds the gendered and racialized assumptions behind tough-on-crime policies while offering a vivid account of how the contemporary penal system impacts individual lives.
Queer (In)Justice by Joey Mogul; Andrea Ritchie; Kay Whitlock
A groundbreaking work that turns a "queer eye" on the criminal legal system, Queer (In)Justice is a searing examination of queer experiences--as "suspects," defendants, prisoners, and survivors of crime. The authors unpack queer criminal archetypes--like "gleeful gay killers," "lethal lesbians," "disease spreaders," and "deceptive gender benders"--to illustrate the punishment of queer expression, regardless of whether a crime was ever committed. Tracing stories from the streets to the bench to behind prison bars, they prove that the policing of sex and gender both bolsters and reinforces racial and gender inequalities.
ALP runs an anti-violence program called SafeOUTside the System Collective, led by and for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Non-Conforming people of color. The SOS Collective uses community-based strategies to combat hate and police violence, finding safe spaces for LGBTSTGNC people of color and training owners/employees of those spaces on violence prevention, homophobia and transphobia.
“Black & Pink is an open family of LGBTQ prisoners and “free world” allies who support each other.” B&P works toward the abolition of the prison-industrial complex, and are working on a number of chapters including a pen pal project, a monthly newspaper, and providing support for incarcerated queer and trans people.
FIERCE's mission statement: FIERCE is a membership-based organization building the leadership and power of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth of color in New York City. We develop politically conscious leaders who are invested in improving ourselves and our communities through youth-led campaigns, leadership development programs, and cultural expression through arts and media. FIERCE is dedicated to cultivating the next generation of social justice movement leaders who are dedicated to ending all forms of oppression.
"The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination, or violence. SRLP is a collective organization founded on the understanding that gender self-determination is inextricably intertwined with racial, social and economic justice. Therefore, we seek to increase the political voice and visibility of low-income people and people of color who are transgender, intersex, or gender non-conforming. SRLP works to improve access to respectful and affirming social, health, and legal services for our communities. We believe that in order to create meaningful political participation and leadership, we must have access to basic means of survival and safety from violence."
Decarcerate PA is a grassroots campaign that seeks to end mass incarceration in Pennsylvania by demanding that PA stop building new prisons, reduce the population in prison and reinvest money in PA communities.
"Founded in 1979, CUAV works to build the power of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) communities to transform violence and oppression. We support the healing and leadership of those impacted by abuse and mobilize our broader communities to replace cycles of trauma with cycles of safety and liberation. As part of the larger social justice movement, CUAV works to create truly safe communities where everyone can thrive."
Communities United Against Police Brutality is a Twin-Cities based organization that works with the day-to-day issues of police brutality. The organization provides support for the survivors of police brutality and the families of victims.
Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) is a coalition of over 40 organizations seeking to CURB prison spending by reducing the number of people in prison and the number of prisons in the state.