“The Geography of Confinement” – special issue of the Fordham Urban Law Journal

Carceral geographers may be interested to see this new special issue of the Fordham Law Journal entitled “The Geography of Confinement”, which includes papers on the political representation of prisoners, and prison culture.

The table of contents is posted below, with links to the fulltexts of the papers.

Johnny Perez


Beyond the Island: Changing the Culture of New York City Jails
Michael Jacobson, Elizabeth DeWolf, Margaret Egan, and David Hafetz

Leicester Prisons Research Group launched – forthcoming FREE events

Leicester Prisons Research Group logo

The Leicester Prisons Research Group has been established at the University of Leicester.

The aims of this group are to:

1) Undertake original, interdisciplinary research in secure settings (prisons and forensic psychiatric hospitals).

2) Develop effective, collaborative partnerships with practitioners including, but not limited to: academics; the police; youth justice groups; and the prison service, to ensure that there is genuine knowledge exchange, collaboration, and high-impact research.

3) Recruit, mentor and train a new generation of research leaders.

The aim is for this research group to be truly interdisciplinary and they are keen to involve academics across different Universities and disciplines. The group intends, amongst other things, to offer a programme of activities focusing on researcher development, knowledge exchange and the dissemination and discussion of emerging research findings. Ultimately, they hope that the events will encourage the development and strengthening of relationships between colleagues broadly interested in prisons research. All events are free. Registration details are provided below.

Thursday 1 March 2018, 6pm – 7pm

‘HMP Berwyn: One Year On’ with Russ Trent (Governor, HMP Berwyn) and Dr Kate Gooch (University of Leicester) Research Seminar


Friday 2 March 2018, 12pm – 1pm

‘Writing for a Change’ skills seminar on writing productively and writing for impact with Professor Erika Rackley (University of Birmingham)


Thursday 22 March 2018, 6pm – 7pm

‘Sound in Prisons’ with Kate Herrity (University of Leicester) Research Seminar


Friday 23 March 2018, 9.30am – 3.30pm

‘Young People in Custody’ Knowledge Exchange Event, co-hosted with HM Inspector of Prisons


Thursday 26 April 2018, 6pm – 7pm

‘The Pains of Long-Term Imprisonment’ with Dr Ben Crewe (University of Cambridge) Research Seminar


Thursday 10 May 2018, 6pm – 7pm

‘Music in Prisons’ with Sarah Doxat-Pratt (University of Leicester) Research Seminar


Tuesday 5th June 2018, 9.30am – 4.30pm

‘IPP, Parole and Progression’ Knowledge Exchange Event


Wednesday 27th June – Thursday 28th June 2018

 The ‘Society of Captives’ Today

To register, please see: www.le.ac.uk/society-of-captives


Asylum Accommodation: Call for Evidence

Carceral geographers and those researching asylum detention may be interested to respond to this call for written evidence.

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) is calling for evidence on the provision of asylum accommodation in England and Wales.

The ICIBI has begun work on an inspection of the provision of accommodation to asylum seekers as provided for by Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. The evidence gathering process has started, and the ICIBI will be asking its established stakeholders for their input. However, the Independent Chief Inspector is also keen to receive written evidence from anyone with relevant knowledge, expertise or experience of the areas set out below. The ICIBI is interested in evidence of good and bad practice, and in particular of any developments since the publication of the Home Affairs Committee report on asylum accommodation in January 2017.

The areas the ICIBI plans to examine will include:

  • Initial allocation of asylum accommodation
  • Dispersal policy and practice
  • Accommodation Standards
  • Handling of asylum decisions

In order to assess how well the Home Office manages the needs of vulnerable individuals, the inspection will focus on the treatment of pregnant women and new mothers. However, the call for evidence extends to all groups.

Details here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/independent-chief-inspector-of-borders-and-immigration

Either email the Chief Inspector: ICIBordersandImmigration@icinspector.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

5th Floor
Globe House
89 Eccleston Square
London SW1V 1PN

Deadline for submissions: 4 March 2018


ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship opportunity – call for applications in carceral geography!

Would you like to pursue postdoctoral research in carceral geography at the University of Birmingham? Have you recently received, or will you soon receive, your PhD from a University which is part of an ESRC Doctoral Training network (even if your PhD was not funded by the ESRC?) Then apply for one of FOUR ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships on offer from the Midlands Graduate School ESTC DTP!

These fellowships are aimed at those in the immediately postdoctoral stage of their career, to provide the opportunity to consolidate their PhD through developing publications, their networks, and their research and professional skills.

The call is open to applicants who:

  • have completed or expected to complete their PhD at a research organisation that is part of a DTP or CDT,
  • have either been awarded a PhD by the submission deadline (23rd March 2018), or have submitted their thesis and passed their viva voce with minor corrections, with the expectation that the PhD will be awarded by the fellowship start date (1st October 2018).
  • have no more than 12 months of active postdoctoral experience by the closing date of the competition (23rd March 2018).

Please read the call specification and FAQ documents fully before applying.

Proposals are welcome from single or inter-disciplinary backgrounds but the fellowship activities must be aligned to one of the Midlands Graduate School DTP’s 17 accredited pathways. (eg Human Geography)

The application deadline to apply for Postdoctoral Fellowships is 16.00 on Friday 23 March 2018 – this is the national deadline set by the ESRC and applies across all 14 DTPs.

To discuss a potential Fellowship in carceral geography, please contact Dominique Moran d.moran@bham.ac.uk to discuss your eligibility and application.

In addition to completing the Postdoctoral Fellowship application form, all applicants will be required to submit the following mandatory attachments, and further details regarding these are provided in the ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships Call specification:

  1. Case for support (maximum six sides of A4)
  2. Justification of resources (maximum two sides of A4)
  3. CV (maximum two sides of A4)
  4. List of publications
  5. Head of department statement (maximum one side of A4)
  6. Mentor statement and summary CV (maximum two sides of A4)
  7. Referee statement (maximum one side of A4)
  8. Other attachments (optional unless undertaking and overseas visit) i.e. If you are intending to visit an overseas institution within the period of the fellowship, a letter of support from the institution must be provided, supporting the visit in principle.

Call for Chapters – The Prison Cell: Embodied and Everyday Spaces of Incarceration

Victoria Knight and Jennifer Turner have been invited by Palgrave Macmillan to submit a proposal for an edited collection for the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series with a focus upon the prison cell.

They are seeking an additional one or two chapters for inclusion in this already exciting collection of interdisciplinary scholarship.

If you are interested in making a contribution, they ask that you let them know of your interest at your earliest convenience, and then submit a proposed titled, an abstract of 250-300 words, and a short bio of 100 words by 28th February 2018.

Throughout the history of imprisonment, the use of cellular confinement has been instrumental in shaping the organisation of carceral space as one of reform, separation, deterrence and isolation. As Helen Johnston highlights, ‘although now often occupied by more than one prisoner, the cell has remained architecturally the most significant space in the prison’ (2010: 14). From crowded dormitories holding hundreds of debtors; and temporary holding rooms in police stations or court rooms; to graphically-design spaces with technological innovations and individual sanitation, the cell manifests in a variety of shapes and forms – each with a distinct function.  In this volume they bring together a series of chapters that negotiate the commonalities and variances of this type of carceral space and address its significance in relation to the embodied and everyday experiences of incarceration. They highlight the array of processes and practices that shape carceral life, adding to this rich area of discussion in penal scholarship, criminology, anthropology sociology and carceral geography. They extend this scholarship by providing a unique volume that provides advances in our understandings, conceptualisations and experiences of the space of the cell.

Contributions may focus upon any aspect of carceral space:

  • Prisons
  • Policing
  • Immigrant detention
  • Internment
  • Detention and mental health
  • Prisoners of war
  • Abstract notions of ‘cell’

They may include (but need not be limited to) the following areas:

  • Differing visions of the cell in different geographical contexts
  • Multi-purpose of the cell
  • Home-making (materiality, symbolic attachment, resistance to control of space)
  • Cell-sharing and overcrowding
  • Sanitation
  • Safer custody and security
  • Escape from the prison cell
  • Friendship/Loneliness
  • Drug use and contraband
  • Risk and Self-Harm (design, implementation, and unintended consequences)
  • Deprivation and human rights
  • Emotive responses
  • Mobilities in cell space/from cell-to-cell/cell transfers
  • Art and other creative uses of space
  • Media representations of cell spaces
  • The changing importance of the prison cell/refocus towards significance of other prison spaces

Victoria and Jennifer are particularly interested to hear from authors working with case studies outside of the European context.

They anticipate the following timescale for the volume:

  • First submission of chapters (c.7-10k words) to the editors required by 31st August 2018
  • Final submission of revised chapters to the editors by 31st January 2019

Please note these dates in submitting your abstract for consideration.

They hope that you will want to be involved in this exciting project, and if you would like to discuss this further, please contact them at the following:



The Society of Captives Today: Celebrating the 60th Anniversary – University of Leicester 27-28 June 2018

A conference  is being co-organised by the University of Cambridge and the University of Leicester, to mark the 60th anniversary of the publication of Gresham Sykes’s The Society of Captives. Click here for details.

The conference is being held on June 27-28 2018, at the University of Leicester. There is a very strong programme, featuring many of the most influential scholars in the field.

Bookings can be made using the following weblink:


CFP: Borders, Racisms and Harms: A Symposium – Birkbeck U.L. 2-3 May 2018


2–3 May 2018 | School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London

Call for Participation

The current socio-political context is characterised by Brexit and Europe’s shoring up of borders in response to irregular migration via the Mediterranean, hyper-criminalisation of migrants, growth of corporate involvement in the management of migration, travel bans, rise of right-wing populism, racisms and xenophobic sentiments across much of the West, and rapid erosion of rights. At the same time, there are constantly new modes of solidarity and resistance emerging, which are also subject to state responses and controls.

This event aims to bring together scholars at various stages of their careers, third sector workers, and people with direct experience of immigration controls and borders to examine the theme of border harms from different substantive angles and theoretical perspectives. The idea of border harms encompasses the variety of ways that bordering practices produce harm and are interconnected with race and racisms. We therefore invite proposals on any of the following broad areas:

  • The policing of migration
  • Refugees and asylum seekers
  • Border deaths
  • Migration and state violence
  • Resistance, solidarity, protest, and advocacy
  • Immigration detention
  • Deportation
  • Foreign national prisoners
  • The criminalisation of solidarity
  • The politics of reform and advocacy
  • Everyday borders and bordering practices
  • Racialisation, securitisation, criminalisation, and surveillance
  • Brexit and the ‘hostile environment’
  • Populism, nationalism, and citizenship practices
  • Empire, colonialism, and state racisms

In addition to academic papers, we welcome proposals for other types of participation, including workshops, performances, and art. Participants are strongly encouraged to consider issues of race, gender, and other social factors in their contributions.

This event is interdisciplinary and will be of interest to scholars from criminology, sociology, social policy, law, human geography, anthropology, and psychology, as well as people with lived experience of border harms and NGO workers involved in practice, advocacy, policy, and research. Attendance will be free.

Confirmed keynote speakers are Professor Shahram Khosravi (Stockholm University), author of ‘Illegal’ Traveller: An Auto-Ethnography of Borders (Palgrave, 2010) and editor of After Deportation: Ethnographic Perspectives (Palgrave, 2018), and Dr Alpa Parmar (University of Oxford), Associate Director of Border Criminologies and co-editor of Race, Criminal Justice, and Migration Control: Enforcing the Boundaries of Belonging (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Please email your proposal (250 words maximum) to the symposium organisers, Monish Bhatia, Gemma Lousley, and Sarah Turnbull (Birkbeck, University of London), by 5:00pm on Friday, 6 April 2018 at BorderHarms@gmail.com. The organisers are planning a publication based on a selection of work presented at the symposium. If you arethey ask you to indicate this in your proposal.