carceral space, biopolitics, affect, deviance, queer
This essay examines the rhetorical and structural divides between the “inside” and “outside” carceral world as they exist within the intersections of racialized state violence and biopolitics. It is also a reflection on my embodied experience, as a volunteer and activist, inside penal and correctional facilities, not in an attempt to center my “freeworld” body as more important than the embodied experiences of incarcerated people, but rather to trouble that binary altogether and to use my experience as a perceived outsider to illuminate what I call the compounds of projected deviance. I will use my experiences working in jails as well as my experiences teaching yoga in an addiction correctional facility to argue for prison abolition and transformative justice, particularly in relation to resettlement. Drawing on the work of prison and queer studies, I argue that space, race, and sexuality interlock in significant ways in historical and contemporary prisons and jails. I will also use my reflections to argue that the feminist project of sexual liberation and autonomy must start with a rejection of sexual Othering for the most marginalized members of society: incarcerated people.
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