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Reimagining Public Safety, Rebuilding Non-Carceral Alternatives: A Closer Look at US and Spanish Gender Violence Approaches

Author:

Adrianna Elizabeth Rosario

Utrecht University, NL
About Adrianna
Adrianna Rosario is a second-year student in the GEMMA Erasmus Mundus Master’s Degree in Women and Gender Studies. She completed her first year at Utrecht University, and she is finishing her second year at University of Granada. Her main research interests are gender violence and abolition/anti-carceralism.
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Abstract

Ruth Wilson Gilmore said, “Abolition is a theory of change, it’s a theory of social life. It’s about making things” (2018). Fred Moten and Stefano Harney echoed Gilmore when they wrote, “not abolition as the elimination of anything but the founding of a new society” (2013, 101). Many people mistake abolition as a reckless ideal that tears down tired social infrastructure without offering tangible alternatives to rebuilding public safety. Abolition has always prioritized defunding prisons and police, so we can reinvest in social supports that prevent violence in the first place and respond rehabilitatively when it does arise. It involves reckoning with widespread disparities and embracing long-term distributional policy and slow transformation. This article embraces an abolitionist stance to trouble the hegemonic notion that punishment is the de-facto solution to resolving social issues and, particularly, gender violence. It examines punitive social policy as a traveling concept that has entered other geographical locations, including Spain, with the globalization of neoliberal ideology since the late 1970s. Punitivism has increasingly taken center stage in feminist gender violence agendas in the US and Spain, despite early feminists skepticism of the criminal justice system and numerous studies that indicate criminalization does not make survivors safer (especially those who are trans and of color) or make perpetrators less likely to use abuse again (Gruber 2020, 90). While punitivism manifests distinctly according to localized US and Spanish gendered and racialized subjectivities, its gender violence approaches share many of the same characteristics and punishment technologies. The goal of this article is to counter the commensical claim that punishment equals accountability and offer non-carceral alternatives that radically rebuild public institutions to better serve trans survivors and survivors of color.
How to Cite: Rosario, A.E., 2022. Reimagining Public Safety, Rebuilding Non-Carceral Alternatives: A Closer Look at US and Spanish Gender Violence Approaches. Junctions: Graduate Journal of the Humanities, 6(2), pp.18–35. DOI: http://doi.org/10.33391/jgjh.130
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Published on 01 Jul 2022.
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