Chapter

Introduction. Certain Failures: Representing the Experiences of Incarcerated Women in the United States

Ruby C. Tapia

in Interrupted Life

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780520252493
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944565 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520252493.003.0001
Introduction. Certain Failures: Representing the Experiences of Incarcerated Women in the United States

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Since 1977, the population of women prisoners in the United States has increased by more than 700 percent. These women are without access to proper health care, without their children, whom many of them will lose permanently; they are without. These stark details are obscene in their materiality. They are facts, but they are only a piece of the picture. The picture is impossible. Indeed, the picture is the problem. This book focuses on the realities of women's experiences inside prison. It presents narratives, essays, poetry, and reports that approach the social, material, and emotional complexities of being incarcerated. It organizes the testimonies of its contributors under topics that highlight the lived experiences of struggle, family, community, and creativity within the intricate, locked system of racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia that pervades U.S. prisons. The book is not and cannot be a full picture of women's incarceration: it is a researched, multivocal struggle to highlight the gender-specific technologies of dehumanization within the prison system.

Keywords: United States; incarcerated women; women prisoners; prisons; incarceration; dehumanization; poetry; sexism; homophobia; racism

Chapter.  2865 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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