Prisons Will Not Protect You takes a critical stance against the prison industrial complex and the systems of inequality and violence perpetuated by hate crime legislation. This archival anthology introduces the history of this legislative solution and interrogates the gay community's unquestioned loyalty to the prison industrial complex. It argues that hate crime legislation, which enhances penalties and can be used to bring in the death penalty, does not address actual causes of harm and violence and only funnels massive numbers of people into the profit-driven prison system. These essays also examine certain specific cases of violence towards queer and trans people, including the New Jersey Four and the Texas Four, demonstrating the vulnerability of gendered, raced, and classed queer bodies within the labyrinthine and mundane realities of law enforcement. Prisons Will Not Protect You exposes deadly links between state-sponsored violence, homophobia, transphobia, and the criminal punishment system while articulating the need to build better solutions to end all forms of violence.
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