Policing Life and Death: Race, Violence, and Resistance in Puerto Rico (Paperback)

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In her exciting new book, Marisol LeBrón traces the rise of punitive governance in Puerto Rico over the course of the twentieth century and up to the present. Punitive governance emerged as a way for the Puerto Rican state to manage the deep and ongoing crises stemming from the archipelago’s incorporation into the United States as a colonial territory. A structuring component of everyday life for many Puerto Ricans, police power has reinforced social inequality and worsened conditions of vulnerability in marginalized communities.
This book provides powerful examples of how Puerto Ricans negotiate and resist their subjection to increased levels of segregation, criminalization, discrimination, and harm. Policing Life and Death shows how Puerto Ricans are actively rejecting punitive solutions and working toward alternative understandings of safety and a more just future.

About the Author

Marisol LeBrón is Assistant Professor in the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

Praise For…

"Lebron’s book is well-written and [we] recommend it, especially for scholars or policymakers interested in an interdisciplinary assessment of the implementation of repressive policies against crime."
— Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books

"For both local and foreign readers, the book present an ideal model of an exhaustive case study, embodied though detailed descriptions that help us understand how deadly policies manifest themselves in a colonial context. . . . Lebrón’s book is ideal for anyone interested in the effects of punitive governance in colonial contexts."
— Latino Studies

"LeBrón effectively expose[s] . . . the cyclical destruction of colonial capitalism in the neoliberal period. In the Puerto Rican case, capital flight and the erosion of social programs and economic opportunities precipitated a series of crises—unemployment, crime, debt, dilapidated infrastructure—and those crises were used to justify further austerity and privatization, which exacerbated existing crises, spawned new ones, and continued the cycle. LeBrón’s notion of punitive governance fits neatly within this narrative."
— New Labor Forum

"Marisol LeBrón brilliantly traces the origins and evolution of punitive governance in Puerto Rico. . . . [and her book] is a major contribution to American studies, history, urban studies, geography, and other fields."
— AAG Review of Books

"LeBrón masterfully blurs latinx, black, carceral, feminist, queer, and critical ethnic studies. . . . Policing Life and Death will be the standard for contemporary studies of policing in Puerto Rico going forward."
— H-Net

"The book’s framing of the issues, its solid research methodology, and diversity of approaches to the analysis of crime, policy responses, and resistances, makes for a great critique of the legitimacy and role of the state in contemporary social relations."
— Lateral: Journal of the Cultural Studies Association

"Presents a timely and hopeful book to the canon of Puerto Rico, policing, and colonialism."
— Black Perspectives

Product Details
ISBN: 9780520300170
ISBN-10: 0520300173
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: April 16th, 2019
Pages: 320
Language: English