Abstract

This article examines the experiences of black, gender-oppressed women, and transgender activists in the anti-prison movement in the U.S. and Canada. By foregrounding the experiences of transgender and gender non-conforming activists, the author makes visible the reality of gender complexity and multiplicity within women's prisons and the anti-prison movement. The article explores the activists' motivations for involvement, and barriers to participation, and explores spirituality as a source of resilience and guidance. It examines the participants' political analysis and abolitionist visions and explores the possibility of “non-reformist reforms” that take up the challenge of a radical, antiracist, gender justice perspective. The article posits the existence of a unique abolitionist vision and praxis, centered on the participants' direct experience of gender oppression and racialized surveillance and punishment. This perspective works toward dismantling penal structures while simultaneously seeking the abolition of racialized gender policing and an end to violence against gender non-conforming prisoners.

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