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New book: The Puzzle of Prison Order - Why life behind bars varies around the world

posted 7 Jul 2020, 09:11 by Julienne Weegels

GPRN member David Skarbek's new book is coming out in August 2020 with Oxford University Press!
"Many people think prisons are all the same - rows of cells filled with violent men who officials rule with an iron fist. Yet, life behind bars varies in incredible ways. In some facilities, prison officials govern with care and attention to prisoners' needs. In others, officials have remarkably little influence on the everyday life of prisoners, sometimes not even providing necessities like food and clean water. Why does prison social order around the world look so remarkably different? In The Puzzle of Prison Order, David Skarbek develops a theory of why prisons and prison life vary so much. He finds that how they're governed - sometimes by the state, and sometimes by the prisoners - matters the most. He investigates life in a wide array of prisons - in Brazil, Bolivia, Norway, a prisoner of war camp, England and Wales, women's prisons in California, and a gay and transgender housing unit in the Los Angeles County Jail-to understand the hierarchy of life on the inside. Drawing on economics and a vast empirical literature on legal systems, Skarbek offers a framework to not only understand why life on the inside varies in such fascinating and novel ways, but also how social order evolves and takes root behind bars."
Interested in knowing more or pre-ordering the book? Go here > https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-puzzle-of-prison-order-9780190672508?cc=us&lang=en&#

Special issue out!

posted 1 Apr 2020, 02:41 by Julienne Weegels   [ updated 1 Apr 2020, 02:43 ]

We're very excited to let you know that our special issue "Confinement Beyond Site: Connecting Urban and Prison Ethnographies"* is out with the Cambridge Journal of Anthropology! Situated squarely on the prison/street nexus, it includes an introduction on porosity and traversal by the three guest editors (Julienne Weegels, Andrew Jefferson and Tomas Max Martin), and seven excellent research articles on India (Mahuya Bandyopadhyay), Brazil (Hollis Moore), Nicaragua (Julienne Weegels), France and the US (Carolina Boe), Sierra Leone (Luisa Schneider), Myanmar (Andrew Jefferson and Tomas Max Martin), and Portugal (Manuela Cunha). It is concluded with an afterword by Steffen Jensen, on the urban and the carceral, and what this special issue has to offer to anthropology more broadly. 


*This special issue is a result of the GPRN-Securcit international conference 'Connecting Urban and Prison Ethnographies: Confinement and Security Beyond Site', organized at the University of Amsterdam in November 2017.

New Incarceration Journal!

posted 13 Aug 2019, 04:14 by Julienne Weegels

It is our pleasure to share with you the wonderful news of the establishment of an incarceration-oriented journal with Sage publishers. Pertinently titled “Incarceration: An international journal of imprisonment, detention and coercive confinement”, the journal is open to articles relating to all forms of coercive confinement, including imprisonment, immigration detention, police custody, kidnapping, virtual confinement, and other forms of institutional and non-institutional confinement. Set up and edited by Ben Crewe, Yvonne Jewkes and Thomas Ugelvik, the journal also has an ample international advisory board spanning research on confinement across the world. It aims to provide a unique and high-quality forum for peer-reviewed articles that focus on the experience, dynamics, modes, techniques, cultures, determinants and effects of all forms of incarceration. 

The new journal will be inter-disciplinary in scope, reflecting the long-standing body of work on incarceration not only from within sociologically-informed criminology, but from, e.g., social anthropology, literary studies, cultural penology, human and carceral geography, socio-legal studies, philosophy, organization studies, medical sociology, and immigration studies. Incarceration will also be international in its reach and focus, publishing scholarship from the Global South, Asia and Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the more conventional territories of the US, UK and Western Europe. The journal will publish articles exclusively in English but we will encourage scholars who have not traditionally reached international audiences with their research, by selectively publishing English language translations of the very best articles that have previously only been published in another language. One of our basic aims – put simply – is to produce a journal that is intellectually vibrant and engaging to read: full of new ideas, compelling findings and combining robust data with interesting concepts and theories. Incarceration will be a continuous publication journal.

You can find more about the journal here on its website. We much encourage you to submit your work and hope you might further spread the word to your colleagues!

Call for abstracts: critical perpectives on penality in South East Asia

posted 8 Feb 2019, 02:43 by Andrew Jefferson

Please consider whether this is of interest and please circulate where relevant.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON PENALITY IN SE ASIA

The European Association for Southeast Asian Studies (EUROSEAS) are holding their biannual conference in Berlin from the 10th -13th September 2019.

https://www.euroseas.org/content/euroseas-conference-2019-humboldt-universit%C3%A4t-zu-berlin

We hereby invite proposals for presentations as part of a panel called Critical perspectives on penality in SE Asia. See below for details.

If this catches your interest please send abstracts of no more than 200 words to Andrew M. Jefferson at amj@dignity.dk The deadline for receipt of abstracts is May 15th.

We especially encourage early career researchers and activists in the field of criminal justice to submit abstracts.

CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON PENALITY IN SE ASIA

Convenor: Andrew M. Jefferson, amj@dignity.dk

Format: double panel: 6 presenters, 2 discussants

In this double panel we aim to bring together a range of contributions about the way penality is constituted, expressed, experienced, legitimated or regulated across SE Asia. Punishment is an under-researched theme in the region especially from a comparative, field-based perspective. What role does it play? What form does it take? And what behaviours or identities are primarily targeted, for what reasons? Punishment is typically encoded within legal systems and institutionalised within criminal justice systems, but it is also expressed corporeally and symbolically by nations, communities and families with violence often a more or less legitimate feature. We welcome contributions on criminal justice systems and transitional justice mechanisms but we are also interested in tracing trends of popular punitiveness and punitive imaginaries and their pernicious effects. We especially encourage early career researchers and activists in the field of criminal justice to submit abstracts.

See also https://legacies-of-detention.org/

New Perspectives on Prison Masculinities

posted 17 Nov 2017, 07:39 by Julienne Weegels

Forthcoming with Palgrave Macmillan is the edited collection "New Perspectives on Prison Masculinities" (2018), edited by GPRN-member Matthew Maycock and Kate Hunt. The collection utilises recent advances in theories on masculinities to explore and analyse the ways in which prisons shape performances of gender, both within prison settings and following release from prison. The authors assess here how the highly gendered world of the prison (where the population is overwhelmingly male in most countries) impacts upon the performance of masculinities. Including original pieces from England, Australia, Scotland and the USA, as well as contributions which take a broader methodological and conceptual approach to masculinity, this engaging and original collection holds international appeal and relevance. Cumulatively, the chapters illustrate the importance of considering a nuanced understanding of masculinity within prison research, and as such, will be of particular interest for scholars of penology, gender studies, and the criminal justice system.
The book will be out in both e-book and hardcover, and can be purchased online here: https://www.palgrave.com/de/book/9783319656533

Program: Connecting Urban and Prison Ethnographies

posted 25 Oct 2017, 01:15 by Julienne Weegels   [ updated 30 Oct 2017, 10:57 ]

Connecting Urban and Prison Ethnographies:
Security and Confinement beyond the Limitations of Site
             

GPRN-Securcit Roundtable Meeting | 2-3 November @ University of Amsterdam

Time schedule:

Day 1: Thursday 2 November

Day 2: Friday 3 November

 

10.00-10.15 Registration and coffee

10.15-10.30 Introduction

 

10.30-12.30 Table 1: Rethinking the ‘carceral continuum’

10.00-12.00 Table 4: Rethinking prison-urban binaries, freedom and confinement

12.30-13.30 Lunch

12.00-13.00 Lunch

13.30-15.15 Table 2: Technology, securitization, and sites of ‘exception’

13.15-15.15 Table 5: Rethinking prisoner organization and governance

15.15-15.30 Coffee

15.15-15.30 Coffee

15.30-17.00 Table 3: Policy, transition and intransigence

15.30-16.30 Table 6: Final discussion

 


 

19.00 Conference dinner

 

17.30 Drinks at CREA


Please find the full program with all panelists and presentations as well as conference room details in the attachment.
This conference is organized by the Global Prisons Research Network in collaboration with the Securcit research group, and supported by the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW), University of Amsterdam, and Danish Institute Against Torture DIGNITY.
Would you like to register as an auditor? Please e-mail us at globalprisonsnetwork@gmail.com by Tuesday 31 October.

CfP extended to 1 August for GPRN Urban & Prison Ethnographies Roundtable in Amsterdam

posted 15 Jul 2017, 03:09 by Julienne Weegels

Connecting Urban and Prison Ethnographies:

Security and Confinement beyond the Limitations of Site

 

Global Prisons Research Network & SECURCIT Roundtable Meeting

University of Amsterdam

2 - 3 November 2017

 

This two-day roundtable meeting intends to bring together urban and prison ethnographers to consider cross-cutting themes and issues at stake in both lines of research. Security and confinement seem to be inseparably tied up with one another through poverty and exclusion, its policing, ideas about justice and morality, and different forms of urban/prison governance. It has been argued that the urban margins and spaces of confinement have conflated to such an extent that we can speak of a carceral continuum (Wacquant). Research on the crossroads of these two spaces is increasing, as policies and techniques of confinement and surveillance, but also practices of subversion and informal organization reach out of prison into the urban, and from the urban well into prison (e.g. Fassin, Goffman, Moran, Skarbek). The ever-growing push for securitization arguably conditions the lives of those ‘trapped’ at the urban margins, subjected to profiling, and/or processed disproportionally through the criminal justice system. Much work on urban violence has emphasized these politics of surveillance and exclusion (e.g. Auyero, Bourgois, Goldstein, Rodgers). Relatedly, many prison ethnographies have underlined how prison deprives and dehumanizes inmates, thwarting and complicating the questions and processes of reentry, rehabilitation or reinsertion (e.g. Liebling, Maruna). Prison ethnographers have argued that analytical attention to the interfaces between governance, transition and survival may enable us to discern the unfolding history of the prison’s carceral grip as it concurrently mutates and persists in local contexts.

Though it is important to distinguish the particularities of the prison and the urban, in order to be able to understand what particular configurations of security and confinement mean in the daily lives of our research participants, and what limits we face as researchers in either space, we propose here an analytical transgression of these socio-spatial boundaries. More often than not an established and dominant narrative around crime and recidivism either pathologizes individuals or proposes lists of ‘criminogenic factors’, which are frequently institutionalized in the policy debate and prompt dubious ‘interventions’. Pushing back against this narrative – suggesting, for example, that policy is ambiguous and that violence can be productive – and moving beyond the limitations of site, we propose a comparative ethnographic discussion that includes different sites of securitization and confinement. We welcome papers and presentations that may consider any of the following themes:

 

  • Radicalization (or mobilization), targeted securitization and deportation;

  • New measures and technologies of incarceration and confinement;

  • Prison-urban binaries: public/private, visible/invisible, social death/navigation, fixity/fluidity;

  • Gangs, prison movements, informal organization and ‘criminal governance’;

  • Politics and sites of ‘exception’;

  • Policing, marginality and exclusion;

  • Policy, transition and intransigence.

     

    We encourage contributions from research conducted across the globe. The roundtable meeting will consist of five to seven roundtable panels and serve as the start of a publication project.

     

    Please submit your 250-word abstract and a short biography to us by 1 AUGUST 2017 (globalprisonsnetwork@gmail.com). You will be expected to provide a paper before the meeting.  

Prison States and Political Embodiment - Call for Papers

posted 31 May 2017, 01:52 by Julienne Weegels

September 7-8, 2017 [see conference website]

Centre for Comparative Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Lisbon

Prisons are commonly considered institutions of secondary importance, as something that stays on the fringes of society rather than being an integral part of it. If prisons offer «a grotesque mirror of society» (Bernault 2003), the image they reflect is one that many people do not wish to look at. Carceral architecture contributes to this perception since, despite some exceptions, prisons are usually built far from the populace. As a matter of fact, not only does imprisonment extirpate detainees from the body of society, but it also conceals them from its view, so that citizens can live virtually ignoring them and the institution that keeps them in custody.

Yet, in spite of the apparent invisibility of the prison in the public sphere, its spectre haunts the collective imaginary and it does materialise frequently in visual and literary contemporary culture. What is more – and certainly more important –, numbers on imprisonment worldwide show a shocking reality of mass incarceration, further worsened by the fact that rates keep on growing appallingly fast. In the United States, for example, the rate of incarceration more than quadrupled since 1970, while in Brazil there was an increase of 1306% between 1969 and 2006 and the trend upward has not been reverted in the past ten years.

Academia has shown an increasing interest on the subject in the last decades, especially since Michel Foucault launched his work on the birth of the prison in 1975. Discipline and Punish had the merit of fostering the study of prisons as modern institutions: since its publication, more and more scholars of different areas have engaged in historical, sociological, political and cultural analysis of prisons. Powerful critical accounts have additionally emerged from the work of canonical critical thinkers such as Deleuze (with his reflection on the society of control), Derrida (with his writings on the death penalty) or Loïc Wacquant, among others. Despite the different questions which these studies add to the overall discussion, they all counteract the popular perception that prisons are marginal or minor institutions. The prison is still a potent instrument for the maintenance of state power and social hegemony.

A critique and a reappraisal of the work of Foucault and his peers is vital for the further theoretical and political development of carceral studies. To generate a more complete and potent canon of critical literature, attentive to various intersecting political issues, it is necessary, for instance, to consider the history of practices of punishment in colonial territories and those practices’ relation   with the institution of slavery, and to acknowledge the importance of African American anti-racist intellectuals, such as Angela Davis, whose thought had a large influence on Foucault (Weheliye 2014). This will also imply renewing our awareness of how carceral institutions and practices have actively contributed to the oppression and exclusion of people not conforming to the social, economic and political norm, including the poor, non-white people, LGBTQ subjects and political dissidents of various kinds – to name but a few examples. In fact, the establishment of detention as the primary form of punishment has been essential to nurture the interests of dominant social groups and to determine their success. This has only been intensified by the economic interests that characterise contemporary carceral institutions, especially given the visible trend towards privatisation, which reinforces the social structure of mass incarceration with notable social and political consequences.

The primary aim of this seminar is to critically discuss the role(s) of prison and of prison-like institutions, such as asylums, reformatories, centres for the detention of immigrants and so on. We wish to focus on the bodily experiences of people caught up in the carceral system, drawing particular attention to dissident subjects who materially and discursively embody modes of resistance to it. In fact, although the purpose of the prison is to create disciplined, ‘docile and submissive bodies’ (Foucault 1975), inmates have always put into action multiform practices of resistance and dissidence. Art, music and literature originated in the prison, for example, have reached the outside public and spread throughout society, attesting to inmates’ capacity to resist and survive carceral logics. We thus hope to complement critical and theoretical depictions of the carceral space with a keen sense of the precarious and dissident voices which affectively, somatically and creatively articulate themselves from within it.


Key-note speakers:

Ruth Gilmore Wilson (The City University of New York)

Zakaria Rhani (Université Mohamed V of Rabat)


We welcome papers from various disciplines and topics including, but not limited to, the following:

• Theories of political embodiment: the politics of the incarcerated body.

• Logics of punishment: violence, incarceration and other forms of penalty.

• Aesthetics of the carceral: representations of the prison and the prison-like in contemporary visual and literary culture.

• Prison writings: writing of and beyond the self

• Embodiment and affectivity in the carceral space: experiences and narratives of resistance.

• Carceral culture and racism: race, biopolitics and incarceration.

• Same-gender dynamics: homosociality, homosexuality and homoeroticism in the carceral space.

• The gendered logics of incarceration: male contexts, female contexts, and the struggles of transgender subjects.

• Refugee and migrant detention camps in the European context: the politics of policing borders and bodies.

• The colonial history of practices of bodily monitoring and repression: experiences, trajectories, transports in and out of the metropolis

The Conference’s working language is English.

Please send the Organizing Committee 300-word abstracts for 20-minute presentations, as well as a brief biographical note (circa 200 words), to prisonstatecilm@gmail.com by July 1st 2017, Notification of acceptance will be given by July 24th 2017.

Price for participation: 35 Euros (includes coffee breaks, one lunch, handbook & conference kit as well as certificate of participation).

Upcoming GPRN-Securcit Roundtable Meeting in Amsterdam!

posted 12 May 2017, 05:45 by Julienne Weegels

Connecting Urban and Prison Ethnographies:

Security and Confinement beyond the Limitations of Site

 

Global Prisons Research Network & SECURCIT Roundtable Meeting

University of Amsterdam

2 - 3 November 2017

 

This two-day roundtable meeting intends to bring together urban and prison ethnographers to consider cross-cutting themes and issues at stake in both lines of research. Security and confinement seem to be inseparably tied up with one another through poverty and exclusion, its policing, ideas about justice and morality, and different forms of urban/prison governance. It has been argued that the urban margins and spaces of confinement have conflated to such an extent that we can speak of a carceral continuum (Wacquant). Research on the crossroads of these two spaces is increasing, as policies and techniques of confinement and surveillance, but also practices of subversion and informal organization reach out of prison into the urban, and from the urban well into prison (e.g. Fassin, Goffman, Moran, Skarbek). The ever-growing push for securitization arguably conditions the lives of those ‘trapped’ at the urban margins, subjected to profiling, and/or processed disproportionally through the criminal justice system. Much work on urban violence has emphasized these politics of surveillance and exclusion (e.g. Auyero, Bourgois, Goldstein, Rodgers). Relatedly, many prison ethnographies have underlined how prison deprives and dehumanizes inmates, thwarting and complicating the questions and processes of reentry, rehabilitation or reinsertion (e.g. Liebling, Maruna). Prison ethnographers have argued that analytical attention to the interfaces between governance, transition and survival may enable us to discern the unfolding history of the prison’s carceral grip as it concurrently mutates and persists in local contexts.

Though it is important to distinguish the particularities of the prison and the urban, in order to be able to understand what particular configurations of security and confinement mean in the daily lives of our research participants, and what limits we face as researchers in either space, we propose here an analytical transgression of these socio-spatial boundaries. More often than not an established and dominant narrative around crime and recidivism either pathologizes individuals or proposes lists of ‘criminogenic factors’, which are frequently institutionalized in the policy debate and prompt dubious ‘interventions’. Pushing back against this narrative – suggesting, for example, that policy is ambiguous and that violence can be productive – and moving beyond the limitations of site, we propose a comparative ethnographic discussion that includes different sites of securitization and confinement. We welcome papers and presentations that may consider any of the following themes:

 

  • Radicalization (or mobilization), targeted securitization and deportation;

  • New measures and technologies of incarceration and confinement;

  • Prison-urban binaries: public/private, visible/invisible, social death/navigation, fixity/fluidity;

  • Gangs, prison movements, informal organization and ‘criminal governance’;

  • Politics and sites of ‘exception’;

  • Policing, marginality and exclusion;

  • Policy, transition and intransigence.

     

    We encourage contributions from research conducted across the globe. The roundtable meeting will consist of five to seven roundtable panels and serve as the start of a publication project.

     

    Please submit your 250-word abstract and a short biography to us by 15 July 2017 (globalprisonsnetwork@gmail.com). You will be expected to provide a paper before the meeting.  

Carceral Geography Conference 2016 at the University of Birmingham : Confinement, Crossings and Conditions

posted 13 Sep 2016, 02:18 by Julienne Weegels

The School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham will host the first dedicated conference for Carceral Geography, on Tuesday 13th December 2016.

Call for Papers

Abstracts are invited for papers which address the themes of this conference: Confinement, Crossings and Conditions. These themes pertain to the nature and experience of carceral confinement, broadly interpreted; the notion of crossing of an assumed or contested boundary both between spaces of confinement and 'other' spaces,  and to the ways in which carceral experiences persist after periods of custody have ended - both for those confined, and for affected others. During ESRC research projects to which the conference is linked, (focused on the experience of carceral spaces) issues of absence, intimacy, choreography and the microscale emerged as significant, and prospective speakers are invited to engage with (but are by no means limited to) these notions. Papers which discuss methodological or theoretical approaches for carceral geography, and those exploring the 'place' of carceral geography in relation to human geography/criminology/carceral studies more generally are also welcome.

Abstracts from postgraduate and early career researchers are particularly welcome.

As well as providing a forum for dissemination and discussion of new and recent research in carceral geography, this event is intended provide a 'springboard' for the development of an organisational structure for this subdiscipline: there will be formal and informal opportunities to discuss and plan actions and activities around this topic.

A limited number of travel and accommodation bursaries will be available for paper presenters.

Please use this URL to:

  • Register to attend as a speaker, and submit your abstract
  • Register to attend as a non-presenting delegate

If you are submitting an abstract, please note that the closing date to do so is 8am (GMT) on Friday 7th October. Selection decisions will be communicated by Friday 14th October.

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