Why can’t we just make up?: On the hypocrisy of transactivism in the prison abolition movement

writing by renee

On the night of June 25 last year, Alex Aleti Seu sexually assaulted a young man in an alleyway and on the grounds of a Dunedin church. Seu, who identifies as transgender, has been sentenced to prison for the attack as well as that of two of his former flatmates. Having entered the prison system, Seu is now among those whose rights No Pride in Prisons (NPIP) defends through its activism, its calls for prison reform and its prison abolitionist demands.In fact, much of NPIP’s work focuses specifically on imprisoned people who identify as transgender.

NPIP is founded on the recognition that the prison system does not to function primarily in the interest of public safety, as we are lead to believe. Reoffending rates are high, and prisons are violent, not rehabilitative, institutions. They do not reduce crime rates – if that was their purpose, indigenous women would not…

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