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research proposal

rb.richx's picture

i did not do an initial response to sheila’s to have some sort of basis to start research, which i think put me at a disadvantage. while i started something (and might post it), i then struggled a bit with where to go.

part of this struggle is because i already consider myself a prison abolitionist. i don’t claim to know even a whole lot about prisons, but in a way, i feel like i know enough to hold steady to my belief. 

the thing is, i know textually how some communities are affected by incarceration. i know many ways in which black and latinx individuals are incarcerated and put to “civil death” more frequently. i know that women face rape more. a lot of things i know intellectually, but have little personal experience to connect myself with the individuals.

this is not to say that i can’t sympathize, can’t find the system disgusting, can’t see the personhood of incarcerated individuals. but the closest i really have is a few family members who have been jailed, then bailed out, for duis and small drug charges faced as white people.

in many ways, i don’t know more than just small facts about the ways in which my own communities are affected - sure, trans folks (esp women) are put in the wrong jails, and yes, many disabled and native people are jailed at higher rates than white and non-disabled counter parts. but i want to know more about how my community is affected. i want to know how i can work with my communities, rather than come off as a savior for black communities (though i will continue to work in solidarity of black folks, and will do my best to learn about the ways in which my communities intersect with the black community and incarceration).


some sources i found on these subjects, but will gladly change up:

inventing the savage: the social construction of native american criminality by luana ross

as an individual with a complicated connection with native identity, i feel largely out of the loop to major issues. this book, as well as probably some things from incite al a andrea smith, will be useful to pick apart some of the ways that racialized oppression affects native individuals in specific ways.


queer (in)justice: the criminalization of lgbt people in the united states (queer ideas/queer action) by joey l. mogul, andrea j. ritchie, and kay whitlock

i think this text will unpack stereotypes in a way that i haven’t thought of before and how they are criminalized in the past and now. i’m unsure if i want to look at all lgbtq+ identities or just transgender and gnc ones, so i might only focus on parts of this book.


disability incarcerated: imprisonment and disability in the united states and canada, edited by allison c. carey, liat ben-moshe, and chris chapman

i think that this will cover a more general understanding of the ways in which disability is affected by incarceration, but i also am skeptical of something that lumps so much together in one. i’ll definitely be looking for articles and other readings for this one.


i will continue to look for books and articles, as well as try to find some less academic things, like maybe some prison radio affiliations with these topics.


i also am not particularly attached to these ideas, and would gladly work with someone(s) for research. i know that these topics are also unrelentingly huge and will definitely need to be narrowed down more. for example, i think smalina and i could work together on focusing on trans health in prisons.