LatCrim scholars and LatCrim scholarship are concerned with working towards racial justice, particularly with and for Latinxs ensnared by the criminal-legal system. To support existing and future work in this area, we conduct a discursive analysis of existing research, public policy, and responses to policies at the nexus of crimmigration scholarship and Latinx sexualities to examine how the figure of “the criminal” drives scholarship on racial justice. We develop the concept of carceral distractions as a type of white distraction that orient us toward accepting carceral fate and consequences as an inevitable marker of state care, protection, and remedy for harm. Carceral distractions make it difficult to recognize the possibilities beyond and outside carceral formations and ideologies. We develop this article as an abolition feminist tool to help identify and understand carceral distractions. To do so, we pose three central questions when asking whether proposed interventions, approaches, or solutions are carceral distractions: (1) What are we oriented towards?; (2) What are we distracted from?; and (3) Who do we leave behind? Ultimately, we demonstrate how carceral distractions strengthen white supremacy by legitimizing carceral logics.
- Latinx/a/o criminology
ASJC Scopus subject areas