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“The U.S. justice system is severely flawed–and its treatment of queer people is representative of its brokenness, argue the authors of the most recent entry in the Queer Action/Queer Ideas series. In a call to action to readers to aid in dismantling the violence endemic to policing and punishment systems, the authors present a history of the criminalization of homosexuality and gender nonconformity … the creation of queer criminal archetypes (e.g., Leopold and Loeb), representation of queer individuals as criminals in media … the treatment of queers in criminal courts, prisons as queer spaces, the inadequacy of legal prosecution of violence against LGBT people, and the groups currently working to address all of these issues… The authors’ knowledge of their subject is encyclopedic and their mission and advocacy admirable… ” —Publisher’s Weekly (Feb 2011)   MORE REVIEWS

A Queer Ideas book, Michael Bronski, series editor

A groundbreaking work that turns a “queer eye” on the criminal legal system.  In March 2003 – three decades after Stonewall – police stormed the Power Plant, a private Detroit club frequented by African American LGBT people.  Over 350 people were handcuffed.  Some were hit in the head and back; others were slammed into walls while being verbally abused.  Their supposed crime was later chalked up to a bizarre infraction:  ”loitering inside a building.”  The event illuminated a long shadow of policing in America, where discrimination and prejudice are pervasive.

Drawing on years of research, activism, and legal advocacy, Queer (In)Justice is a searing examination of the queer experience–as criminal defendants, prisoners, and survivors of violent crimes.  The authors unpack queer criminal archetypes– like “gleeful gay killers,” “lethal lesbians,” and “disease spreaders”– to illustrate the punishment of queer expression, regardless of whether a crime was ever committed.  And tracing stories from the judicial bench to the streets and behind prison bars, the authors prove that the policing of sex and gender both bolsters and reinforces racial and gender inequalities.

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