Undergraduate Honors Thesis


Resisting Carcerality: A Case for Mad Liberation Public Deposited

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    This thesis examines the ways in which U.S. society treats those with a mental illness in a carceral manner. It explores the ways in which carcerality works in collusion with and informs ableism and sanism to create a society in which the mentally ill are erased, punished, and ultimately eliminated. The thesis also analyzes ableism and sanism’s interactions with other systemic forms of oppression, specifically focusing on capitalism, colonization, racism, and cis-heteropatriarchy. The thesis then provides an examination of the deinstitutionalization movement as a historical context for exploration of the current conditions facing the mentally ill. This contemporary exploration covers the current lack of resources for the mentally ill in the U.S. and how that leads to many situations where the police are called to respond to someone in crisis. The thesis goes on to explain how this can lead the mentally ill into psychiatric hospitals and discusses the often inhumane conditions within them. Additionally, it describes the unjust process one faces when they are deemed incompetent to stand trial. It then explains the most tragic possibility following a police interaction where one is killed by the police. The thesis concludes with a hopeful look to the future through the lenses of Mad liberation movements, disability justice, and abolition. It is followed by a coda detailing the transformative personal experience of writing the thesis.

Date Awarded
  • 2022-03-29
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Last Modified
  • 2022-09-20
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