One jail, two sexes and three genders: the struggle concerning the gender binarism in Italian prisons (Prat 2015-2017)
In Italy special sections have been instituted in eight prisons, according to the latest revelation in 2009, namely Naples, Rome, Florence, Belluno, Rimini, Alba, Milan and Bollate for overall 78 inmates, mainly of South-American nationality, whose gender identity falls somewhere in between or outside the sexual dualism. In all these penitentiary structures the sections for transgender inmates are inserted inside the male ward, except in Florence, where this sector is collocated within the female part of the prison. Until nowadays it is not clear how to solve a situation, which’s symbolic constrains do not allow managing a gender claiming, in contrast to the heteronormative hegemony of prisons’ organizational logics. Because of the few studies, realized until now about this particular phenomenon, along with the hard challenges, inmates and prisons’ staff have to face everyday in these highly institutionalized contexts, this project-proposal should promote an integrated perspective about such a segregated, ignored and stigmatized reality within the Italian penitentiary system, considering psychological, social, cultural and normative factors.