Trans Men’s Pathways to Incarceration

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Sociological Spectrum






In this study, we examine trans men’s pathways to incarceration, through the lens of feminist criminology, specifically pathways perspective, intersectionality, and queer criminology. We extend the use of feminist pathways theory to a population other than girls and women. We discuss specific pathways that contribute to trans men’s criminal justice system involvement, including: (1) childhood abuse; (2) victimization experiences; and, (3) homelessness. Through the use of 15 semi-structured, in-depth phone interviews with previously incarcerated trans men across the United States, we demonstrate how these pathways contribute to their experiences with the criminal justice system. We then discuss trans men’s negative coping mechanisms and lack of support systems as factors that influence future offending. Our goal is to queer feminist criminology in order to better account for diversity in gender identities and experiences with the criminal justice system. Overall, we demonstrate the need for more social support and resources for trans men, especially for trans men of color and those who have experienced common pathways to the criminal justice system.