Punishment & Society

Sage Publications, Inc.
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Latest documents

  • Nuances of fragmentation, (mis)recognition and closeness: Narratives of challenges and support during resettlement

    The transition from prison to society tends to be tough and painful for people in resettlement and challenging to facilitate for professionals. The Norwegian Correctional Services aim for a continuous reentry focus throughout the prison sentence. Norway has been presented as one of the Nordic exceptional penal states, partly based on ‘the encouraging pattern of officer-inmate interactions’. However, this exceptional picture has been criticized for paying more attention to discourse than to lived experiences. As newly released persons’ experiences of interaction and relationships with staff and of how these facilitate and frustrate their reentry processes have largely been ignored, this article draws attention to their perspectives. Inspired by narrative analysis, in cooperation with persons with lived experience, we constructed three stories of challenges and support during resettlement. Through these in-depth presentations of frustrating misrecognition, ignorance and fragmentation, but also of closeness, continuity, recognition, belonging and de-stigmatization, this study provides important insights into how interaction and relationships with staff enable and constrain reentry to society. By bringing lived experience into the discourse of Nordic exceptionalism, this article adds valuable perspectives to this still ongoing debate. Overall, we argue for a revitalization of the primary officer role and a broader approach to resettlement to facilitate support throughout the prison sentence.

  • Liam Martin, Halfway House: Prisoner Reentry and the Shadow of Carceral Care
  • Markers of entanglement: Survival strategies within the neoliberal university and the promise of carceral futures

    Within the neoliberal era, the university's form and function have shifted. These shifts necessitate an unraveling of the synergies of institutions of higher education with carceral institutions. Building from the scholarship of the “college-prison nexus” and the “academic-prison symbiosis,” this paper converges on the criminology department's role within these synergies. Based on an analysis of department websites and the introductory course syllabi of English-speaking criminology departments in Canada (n = 50), I interrogate the methods used to advertise to students. I identify six markers of entanglement that are part of how departments market themselves in the neoliberal era to the student–consumer. These markers include career prospects, field placements, faculty research, pracademics, job training, and dual/bridging degrees. Utilizing these markers as a departure point, I analyze these indicators of relationships that exist between the university and the carceral apparatus. In doing so, I interrogate how these relationships can (re)produce carceral logics and systems and offer the university an articulated pathway of survival through carceral intrenchment.

  • Franklin E Zimring, The Insidious Momentum of American Mass Incarceration
  • “The biggest thing you can rob is somebody's time”: Exploring how the carceral state bankrupts fathers through temporal debt

    Over the last several decades, research has demonstrated the adverse impact incarceration has on sustaining and strengthening familial bonds. Physical and communication barriers are often noted as lead sources of strain in relationships between incarcerated individuals and their loved ones. Studies have shown that the financial burden of prison can also have deleterious impacts on the family reintegration process upon release, particularly for minoritized populations. The current study adds to the discussion on collateral consequences of the carceral state by introducing temporal debt; a novel concept similar to financial debt in that it results from oppressive policies and builds over generations. Findings detail how the carceral state impacts fathers’ regard for temporal provision and enters Black men into a cycle of temporal poverty. The results encourage readers to consider novel means of addressing harm and violence to decrease the perpetuation of familial harm committed by the criminal legal system beyond reformist efforts that often aim to ease parenting from prison.

  • “A prison is no place for a pandemic”: Canadian prisoners’ collective action in the time of COVID-19

    Since the onset of COVID-19, social protest has expanded significantly. Little, however, has been written on prison-led and prison justice organizing in the wake of the pandemic—particularly in the Canadian context. This article is a case study of prisoner organizing in Canada throughout the first 18 months of COVID-19, which draws on qualitative interviews, media, and documentary analysis. We argue that the pandemic generated conditions under which the grievances raised by prisoners, and the strategies through which they were articulated, made possible a discursive bridge to the anxieties and grievances experienced by those in the community, thinning the walls of state-imposed societal exclusion. We demonstrate that prisons are sites of fierce contestation and are deeply embedded in, rather than separate from, our society. An important lesson learned from this case study is the need for prison organizing campaigns to strategically embrace multi-issue framing and engage in sustained coalition building.

  • Examining PM2.5 concentrations in counties with and without state-run correctional facilities in Texas
  • Surviving austerity: Commissary stores, inequality and punishment in the contemporary American prison

    Privatization and austerity measures have turned US prisons and jails into sites of financial extraction. As corrections systems have slashed budgets for essential services, incarcerated individuals are increasingly expected to cover the costs of their institutionalization, including amounts for administrative fees and legal support, and for covering basic necessities during incarceration. This article focuses on the commissary system as a central yet understudied institution of the American neo-liberal prison. It conceptualizes commissary as a double-edged institution: on the one hand, prison commissary stores—where people can purchase a wide variety of items, from extra food to small appliances—constitute a crucial mechanism for extending financial extraction inside carceral institutions, siphoning millions of dollars each year from impoverished households. At the same time, we argue, shopping at commissary allows incarcerated persons to mitigate against the punitive frugality imposed by the prison and to limit the reach of disciplinary power. Drawing on qualitative research with sixty formerly incarcerated men in New York State, and on the personal experiences of one of the authors with the New York penal system, this article reconstructs how access to economic capital functions as a mediating structure in contemporary US prisons, enabling some prisoners to negotiate carceral punishment, while leaving others fully exposed to its harmful consequences.

  • Managing inclusion or preparing for exclusion? A critical examination of gender-responsive management of female Central and Eastern European prisoners in England and Wales

    This article examines practitioner understandings and implementation of gender-responsive support within female prisons in England and Wales in the context of a growing emphasis on effective deportation of foreign national prisoners. Drawing on a case study of female prisoners from Central and Eastern states of the European Union (EU), we argue that the aims of gender-responsivity, designed to address women's gendered vulnerabilities to support their re-entry in the UK, are pragmatically re-shaped to accommodate the uncertainty surrounding their immigration status. We show how in practice, gender-responsive support functions at best to ‘manage’ gendered needs of women who are ‘not of interest’ to immigration authorities, and at worst to legitimate exclusion by side-lining vulnerabilities of women deemed as having ‘no right to remain’ in the UK. This occurs in the context of limited access to legal redress to challenge deportation decisions, unevenly spread resources in the female prison estate, and practitioners’ occupational cultures which emphasise paternalistic valuations of female foreign national prisoners’ femininity. We locate the findings in criminological debates about ‘gendering of borders’ and conclude with a reflection on the implications for advocacy at the time of increasingly restrictive immigration controls following the UK's exit from the EU.

  • Making sense of penal difference: Political cultures and comparative penology

    In this paper I argue that if we are to make sense of why punishment differs between jurisdictions, then we should focus on the political cultures that shape penal practices. Political culture is conceived of here as a ‘practical consciousness’, made up of implicit and express cultural values and political commitments. Using the comparative case studies of Ireland and Scotland (from 1970–1990s), the paper tries to show that by taking the time to recover and interpret the beliefs and ideas that frame penal policymaking, we will be better able to illuminate and make sense of cross-national penal patterns. And using the leverage of cross-national contrast and analysis, we can also better understand punishment and its place in each society.

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