Inventing the Savage
The Social Construction of Native American Criminality
326 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.90 in
Sales Date: April 1, 1998
Luana Ross writes, "Native Americans disappear into Euro-American institutions of confinement at alarming rates. People from my reservation appeared to simply vanish and magically return. [As a child] I did not realize what a 'real' prison was and did not give it any thought. I imagined this as normal; that all families had relatives who went away and then returned."
In this pathfinding study, Ross draws upon the life histories of imprisoned Native American women to demonstrate how race/ethnicity, gender, and class contribute to the criminalizing of various behaviors and subsequent incarceration rates. Drawing on the Native women's own words, she reveals the violence in their lives prior to incarceration, their respective responses to it, and how those responses affect their eventual criminalization and imprisonment. Comparisons with the experiences of white women in the same prison underline the significant role of race in determining women's experiences within the criminal justice system.
- Acknowledgments Introduction
- Part I. Colonization and the Social Construction of Deviance
- 1. Worlds Collide: New World, New Indians
- 2. Racializing Montana: The Creation of "Bad Indians" Continues
- Part II. Creating Dangerous Women: Narratives of Imprisoned Native American and White Women
- 3. Prisoner Profile: Past and Present
- 4. Lives Dictated by Violence
- 5. Experiences of Women in Prison: "They Keep Me at a Level Where They Can Control Me"
- 6. Rehabilitation or Control: "What Are They Trying to Do? Destroy Me?"
- 7. Prison Subculture: "It's All a Game and It Doesn't Make Sense to Me"
- 8. Motherhood Imprisoned: Images and Concerns of Imprisoned Mothers
- 9. Double Punishment: Weak Institutional Support for Imprisoned Mothers
- 10. Rehabilitation and Healing of Imprisoned Mothers
- 11. Narrative of a Native Woman on the Outside: Gloria Wells Norlin (Ka min di tat)
- Appendix: Violations and Descriptions