3 Sexuality: Stigma & Punishment articles categorized as: Gender
Despite the growing numbers of women in prison, discussions about prison abolition largely focus on the incarcerated male. Conversations about prison abolition often do not address the fact that there are over two million people currently behind bars who need immediate, tangible changes in order to survive. Conversely, many conversations about immediate prison reform (such as the recent lobbying in NYC to build separate jail housing for GLBTI pre-trial detainees) do not consider how proposed reforms could work to expand and strengthen the prison-industrial complex.
Since the looming demise of male searches became public knowledge here, male guards have been doing them more than ever. Guards who rarely search much now command, “Hey, get over here! Let me pat you down.” Why? Because they can. A virtual concentration-camp system has materialized in California and elsewhere, out in the middle of nowhere, erecting these prisons out of sight and out of mind.
In this panel presentation, that occurred as a part of Voices in Time, Lives in Limbo, People’s Law Office attorney Joey Mogul provides troubling examples of the manipulation of gender stereotypes by prosecutors in order to sentence women to death. As 40% of women on death row are or have been accused of being a lesbian, Mogul offers a compelling argument regarding how the defeminization and consequent dehumanization of women defendants can lead to harsher sentences.