Publication Date

April 2017

Advisor(s)

Margot Weiss

Major

Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

This thesis examines the impact of policies that claim to protect incarcerated queer people. Taking up the framework of abolition, I argue that these policies actually reproduce and obscure state-sanctioned carceral violence against the most vulnerable, marking certain populations as a threat in order to justify their project of protecting and reinforcing heteronormative white supremacy and racial capitalism. This thesis traces the histories, logics, and realities of three policies that target incarcerated queer people: HIV quarantine, the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, and protective custody for trans people. In doing so, I argue that reform—even and especially reform in the name of protection—masks and reproduces violence.

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