Leanne Trapedo SimsJan 19, 2024
Reckoning with Restorative Justice
Hawai'i Women's Prison Writing
Duke University Press 2023
In Reckoning with Restorative Justice Hawaii Women's Prison Writing (Duke University Press, 2023), Dr. Leanne Trapedo Sims explores the experiences of women incarcerated at the Women’s Community Correctional Center, the only women’s prison in Hawaii. Adopting a decolonial and pro-abolitionist lens, she focuses mainly on women’s participation in the Kailua Prison Writing Project and its accompanying Prison Monologues program. Trapedo Sims argues that while the writing project was a vital resource for the inside women, it also remained deeply embedded within carceral logics at the institutional, state, and federal levels. She foregrounds different aspects of these programs, such as the classroom spaces and the dynamics that emerged between performers and audiences in the Prison Monologues. Blending ethnography, literary studies, psychological analysis, and criminal justice critique, Trapedo Sims centers the often-overlooked stories of incarcerated Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women in Hawai‘i in ways that resound with the broader American narrative: the disproportionate incarceration of people of color in the prison-industrial complex.
Rameen Mohammed is a community organizer based in Texas, a fellow for Muslim Counterpublics Lab, and a soon-to-be law student.