Carceral Geography: Spaces and Practices of Incarceration

Carceral Geography: Spaces and Practices of Incarceration

Dominique Moran

Language: English

Pages: 197


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The ’punitive turn’ has brought about new ways of thinking about geography and the state, and has highlighted spaces of incarceration as a new terrain for exploration by geographers. Carceral geography offers a geographical perspective on incarceration, and this volume accordingly tracks the ideas, practices and engagements that have shaped the development of this new and vibrant subdiscipline, and scopes out future research directions. By conveying a sense of the debates, directions, and threads within the field of carceral geography, it traces the inner workings of this dynamic field, its synergies with criminology and prison sociology, and its likely future trajectories. Synthesizing existing work in carceral geography, and exploring the future directions it might take, the book develops a notion of the ’carceral’ as spatial, emplaced, mobile, embodied and affective.




















Criminology and Prison Sociology Time as an element of study within criminology and prison sociology has taken a number of forms. Researchers have considered time as a ‘given’ constant, as an axis of differentiation, for example through longitudinal studies looking at changes in various phenomena such as; imprisonment rates, levels of overcrowding and prisoner welfare (e.g. Jacobs and Helms 1996, Stucky et al. 2005), individual prisoners’ experiences (e.g. Zamble 1992), and prisoners’ adjustment

in which the embodied experience of time through ageing varies between different stages of the lifecourse. The following sections will explore these in turn. Clock Time and Stasis As Middleton (2009) points out, time geography has tended to treat time as a resource to which everyone has equal access, and has tended to overlook the power relations embedded within the experience of time and the way in which agency is deployed to exert actual or perceived control over experiential time. The

is redirected to the mostly rural towns where they are imprisoned. The ‘losers’ in this shift are argued to be urban communities of colour. Half of all US prisoners are African American and one-sixth are Latino, with the vast majority originating from poor urban areas such as East New York and South Central Los Angeles. As a result, these neighbourhoods, which have already sustained years of economic and social crises and loss, lose out in terms both of political representation and power as a

a previous life, or the ‘pre-liminal’; transition, the ‘liminal’, and reintegration in a ‘new’ life, the ‘post-liminal’. Turner’s (1967) work focussed primarily on the liminal stage, in which he described individuals entering an unstructured egalitarian world which he termed ‘communitas’, where comradeship transcends rank, age, kinship and so on, and displays an intense community spirit, in which social groups form strong bonds free from any structures which would usually constrain them. In the

the lived experience of carceral spaces has emerged as a central theme of recent research, and carceral geographers have made valuable contributions to understandings of how, even within the most restrictive conditions of confinement, prisoners employ effective spatial tactics within surveilled space, create individual and collective means of resistance to carceral regimes, and succeed in appropriating and personalising carceral spaces (Moran and Jewkes forthcoming). While this growing body of

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