Professor Jerry Flores recently published a blog post for the University of California Press, entitled “Young and at Risk: Canada’s First Nation Women and California’s Latinas.” Professor Flores is an Assistant Professor of Sociology with teaching responsibilities on the Mississauga campus. He joined our faculty in 2017 and teaches in the areas of gender and crime, race and ethnicity. In the blog post, Professor Flores draws connections between First Nations women’s disappearances and the California Latina women he studied for his book, Caught Up: Girls, Surveillance, and Wraparound Incarceration. He also provides policy suggestions to help ensure that these young women are no longer vulnerable. We have included an excerpt of the blog post below.
Young and At Risk: Canada’s First Nation Women and California’s Latinas
Across Canada there has been tens of thousands of missing first nations women like Tamara Lynn Chipman. A similar pattern has occurred near American reservations as well as places like Juarez, Mexico where scores of women as young as 14 years old have been kidnapped, raped, murdered and never returned to their families. Most of these women have received little media coverage, scant support from criminal justice institutions and are seldom found alive, if at all.
As an incoming faculty member in the sociology department at the University of Toronto, a new resident to Canada, and a Chicano feminist I was stunned by these stories. During the last ten years, there have been an increase in documentaries on this issue, scores of independent efforts to find these people, but there has been little government support to successfully find these women or to curtail these disappearances. As I began to read about this issue I was baffled by how similar the stories of these youth compare to the experiences of justice involved Latinas that I interviewed in Caught Up: Girls, Surveillance and Wraparound Incarceration. In this book, I address the multiple home factors that contribute to Latinas in Southern California ending up behind bars and the challenges they face when attempting to return to a “normal life.” I interviewed over 30 young women and included twenty more via group interviews or ethnographic fieldwork.
Read the full post here.