Critical Criminology

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 37–54 | Cite as

Transing Critical Criminology: A Critical Unsettling and Transformative Anti-Carceral Feminist Reframing

  • Jennifer MustoEmail author


Feminist interventions in criminology have interrogated forcefully theories of crime and punishment that otherwise render women and girls invisible. Yet, feminist attention to women’s and girls’ justice-involvement emerges in the same moment in which the carceral state has shapeshifted in gender-sensitized directions, raising pressing questions about how feminist ideals are used to underwrite carceral expansion and what analytical frameworks are best equipped to resist it. Inspired by theoretical innovations within trans frameworks, including transgender, transnational, and transformative intersectional feminist perspectives (Dill and Zambrana 2009; Tudor 2017), this article argues that critical criminology needs to be transed (Balaguera 2018; Tudor 2017) to move closer to its transformative potential. Trans frameworks offer powerful insights to challenge dominant criminological frameworks and to explore feminism’s own complicated relationship to carceral expansion. In this article, I discuss ways that transing critical criminology may help to unsettle binary accounts of gender, harm, justice and punishment, and to reframe abolitionist praxis in innovative anti-carceral feminist directions.



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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Women’s and Gender Studies DepartmentWellesley CollegeWellesleyUSA

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