Uniform Feelings

Scenes from the Psychic Life of Policing
Jessi Lee Jackson
Sheds light on the emotional dynamics behind policing with an eye toward its abolition.


Uniform Feelings explores emotions and U.S. policing. Utilizing a mix of clinical case studies, autotheory, and ethnographic research, Jessi Lee Jackson examines the emotional and psychological forces that shape U.S. police power. She begins with her work as a psychotherapist working across the spectrum of relationships to policing, and then turns to interrogate carceral psychology—the involvement of her profession in ongoing state violence. The book then shifts toward trainings, museums, and memorials that illuminate the psychic life of policing, and the possibility for its transformation.

Within her investigation of clinical practice, Jackson offers a critique of contemporary police psychology, which constructs police as vulnerable heroes in need of protection and normalizes a celebration of gun culture. She also explores the police claim of premature death for officers alongside the creation of premature death for those targeted by policing. Jackson then turns to police psychology's participation in training and consulting with police departments, highlighting that these efforts do not serve to restrain police power, but to legitimate it. In the final section of the book, Jackson explores fantasies and mourning processes around policing at police memorials and museums, rapidly expanding sites where public feelings and state violence collide. 
Jessi Lee Jackson is a licensed mental health counselor with over 15 years of clinical experience. She holds a PhD in American Studies from the University at Buffalo (SUNY).

Praise / Awards

  • “The police stand at the very heart of white bourgeois order. Uniform Feelings puts this fact up front and center, forcing readers to contemplate the politics of police power and the everyday violence it enacts in the most insidious and spectacular of ways. The book offers a thoughtful and very helpful discussion about racialized state violence as its agents understand, and disown, their legal capacity for violence. Given its focus on material culture and psychology, the book offers a unique approach to thinking about the police power. It is a welcome offering.”
    —Tyler Wall, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Product Details

  • 216 pages.
  • 5 illustrations.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Ebook
  • 2022
  • Forthcoming
  • 978-0-472-12999-7

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  • psychoanalysis, carceral studies, policing, prison abolition, critical prison studies, critical psychology, psychoanalysis, affect studies, public feelings, transformative justice, police museum, police memorial, mourning, Winnicott, Melanie Klein, Fanon, police psychology, autotheory, state violence, state sanctioned violence, critical criminology, social justice, vulnerable hero, police abolition, defund the police, white supremacy, whiteness, clinical case study, American studies, relational psychoanalysis, counseling practice, intersectional feminism, gun culture, police culture, carceral state