GLOBAL LOCKDOWN: Race, Gender, and the Prison-Industrial Complex edited by Julia Sudbury (Routledge), 352 pages, $32.45 paper. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Looking through a transnational feminist lens, Global Lockdown's impressive collection of personal narratives and essays examine the criminalization of women.
What distinguishes it from other books on imprisonment is the way it places women at the centre of the discussion, focusing on the alarming rate at which working-class women of colour and indigneous women are being locked up all over the world.
The word "global" in the title doesn't merely refer to geography. The book also proposes that the anti-globalization and anti-prison movements establish dialogue and join forces. Essays such as Playing Global Cop: U.S. Militarism And The Prison-Industrial Complex eloquently establish the links between globalization and trends in incarceration.
In her introduction, editor and abolitionist Julia Sudbury writes that she sees Global Lockdown as one step on a scholarly and activist journey. This disclaimer came back to me as I neared the end and felt the missing voices of transsexual and transgendered men and women, even though incarcerated transsexuals face the possibility of extreme violence and the denial of hormone treatment while risking being held in facilities not consistent with their gender identities.
Beth Richie' s Queering Anti-Prison Work explores the roles of gender and sexuality in an anti-prison politic in which race and class are firmly placed, but her essay fails to acknowledge gender variance.
I couldn't help but wonder why such a heavily criminalized population was left out of a book that covers so much geographical and complex theoretical ground - especially when the word "gender" appears in the title.
Nevertheless, Global Lockdown is an important addition to anti-prison and anti-globalization literature and scholarship.