"No One Enters Like Them: Health, Gender Variance, and the PIC" by blake nemec in Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex, ed. by Nat Smith and Eric A Stanley
Where are anti-trafficking activists when it comes to activism against trans women being trafficked like this in prison? Of course, without even going into how many of them are terfs, anti-traffickers would never side with prison abolitionists, seeing as how their carceral/governance feminism is about direct support of the prison industrial complex.
Pennsylvania was once at the forefront of the rehabilitation movement, one that extended to juveniles—albeit along starkly racial lines. In 1828 the House of Refuge of Philadelphia opened as an alternative to adult prisons for youth offenders. But for two decades, only white children were sent there for rehabilitation; black children were often sent to adult prisons. The House of Refuge for Colored Children was opened at the end of 1849, at the behest of progressive reformers.
Houses of refuge eventually gave way to juvenile prisons. The Juvenile Court Act of 1903 established juvenile courts for minor crimes; in the 1930s their jurisdiction would be extended to all crimes except murder for defendants under 18. But as juvenile courts shed their paternalistic origins in favor of formal due process—Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Act of 1972 codified such rights—notions of rehabilitation as a central goal of the criminal justice system were eroding. The law-and-order rhetoric of Richard Nixon’s 1968 campaign and his declaration of the “war on drugs” in 1971 were followed by racebaiting predictions in the ’80s and ’90s that a generation of “teenage superpredators” would lay waste to cities across the country. States passed a wave of tough-on-crime laws allowing children to be tried as adults for a variety of offenses. In 1995 Pennsylvania amended the Juvenile Act to narrow the jurisdiction of juvenile courts, shuttling more youths into the adult system.
The ramped-up sentencing of children as adults had a disparate racial impact, reflecting long-held attitudes that kids of color are more criminal in nature and have less rehabilitative potential. Today, black and Latino teens are far more likely to be sentenced to life without parole, particularly for killing a white person. Of the 13- and 14-year-olds sent to die in prison, 70 percent are, like Trina, kids of color.
It’s a long read but a good one.