The Only Way to End Racialized Gender Violence in Prisons is to End Prisons: A Response to Russell Robinson’s “Masculinity as Prison”

In Masculinity As Prison: Sexual Identity, Race, and Incarceration,[1] Professor Russell Robinson explores the creation of the K6G unit of the Los Angeles County Jail. Robinson describes how this unit, designed to protect prisoners who may be targets because of their non-normative gender and/or sexual orientation, operates as a site for the enforcement of racialized and classed norms about sexual orientation and gender. In order to be housed in the K6G unit, prisoners must undergo screening[2]performed by two white, heterosexual deputies. These deputies quiz the prisoners on their familiarity with gay subcultural terminology and details about the West Hollywood neighborhood, a gathering place for white gay men in Los Angeles, in order to determine their suitability for the unit.[3]

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