New CGWG book review – Carrie Crockett on Sarah Badcock’s ‘A Prison Without Walls’

Cover for 

A Prison Without Walls?

The latest in the Carceral Geography Working Group book review series is now online. Following hot on the heels of ACE Collective’s review of Cormac Behan’s Citizen Convicts, and demonstrating the sheer diversity of interests within carceral geography, Carrie Crockett provides a review of Sarah Badcock’s A Prison Without Walls? Eastern Siberian Exile in the Last Years of Tsarism.

Read her review here.

To suggest a book to be reviewed for the CGWG series, email

New book available for review: ‘Stick Together and Come Back Home: Racial Sorting and the Spillover of Carceral Identity’ by Patrick Lopez-Aguado

Image result for stick together and come back homeThe Carceral Geography Working Group invites prospective reviewers for its Book Review series, for Stick Together and Come Back Home: Racial Sorting and the Spillover of Carceral Identityby Patrick Lopez-Aguado, published in Jan 2018 by University of California Press.

In Stick Together and Come Back Home, Patrick Lopez-Aguado (Assistant Professor of Sociology at Santa Clara University) examines how what happens inside a prison affects what happens outside of it. Following the experiences of seventy youth and adults as they navigate juvenile justice and penal facilities before finally going back home, he outlines how institutional authorities structure a “carceral social order” that racially and geographically divides criminalized populations into gang-associated affiliations. These affiliations come to shape one’s exposure to both violence and criminal labeling, and as they spill over the institutional walls they establish how these unfold in high-incarceration neighbourhoods as well, revealing the insidious set of consequences that mass incarceration holds for poor communities of colour.

Prospective reviewers are invited to email to organise delivery of a complimentary copy of the book.

Reviews should be c1000 words in length, delivered within 2 months of receipt of the book, and should specifically consider the work in relation to carceral geography and geographical conceptualisations of confinement. Reviews will be published on the website.


“Incarceration, Migration and Indigenous Sovereignty: Thoughts on Existence and Resistance in Racist Times” free to download now

The education booklet Incarceration, Migration and Indigenous Sovereignty: Thoughts on Existence and Resistance in Racist Times has recently been published online.

This booklet responds to the current and ongoing histories of the incarceration of Indigenous peoples, migrants, and communities of colour. One of its key aims is to think about how prisons and their institutional operations are not marginal to everyday spaces, social relations, and politics. Rather the complex set of practices around policing, detaining, and building and maintaining prisons and detention centres are intimately connected to the way we understand space and place, how we understand ourselves and our families in relation to categories of criminal or innocent, and whether we feel secure or at home in the country we reside.

Incarceration, Migration and Indigenous Sovereignty features contributions first presented at Space, Race, Bodies II: Sovereignty and Migration in a Carceral Age. Contributors include: Teanau Tuiono, Fadak Alfayadh, Emmy Rākete, Crystal McKinnon, Emma Russell, Marie Laufiso, Suzanne Menzies-Culling, R. Michelle Schaaf and Holly Randell-Moon.

The booklet is available for free download here​

The Space, Race, Bodies research collective has limited funding available for print copies of the booklet. If your organisation would like copies, please email:


Call for views on ‘Management of Offenders Bill’ from the Scottish Government

Carceral geographers working on notions of the porosity of the prison boundary, embodiment, (im)mobility, and issues of extended surveillance and control beyond the prison (especially re electronic tagging and/or disclosure), may be interested to offer views to the Scottish Government.

Prior to considering the Scottish Government’s ‘Management of Offenders Bill’, the Justice Committee is launching a call for evidence.

According to the call: ‘The Bill seeks to enable greater use of electronic tagging, reduces the time before a conviction is ‘spent’ for the purposes of disclosure, and alters the makeup of Parole Boards. The changes proposed to tagging could lead to offenders wearing tags fitted with more advanced GPS location technology. Ministers also foresee a point where tags could be used to detect alcohol or drugs in an offender’s system. The Bill would enable these and other measures in future. Elsewhere, the Bill reforms the law on disclosing past offences to others, such as potential employers. The overall direction of travel is towards reducing the requirement to disclose by lowering the time limits before convictions become “spent”. For example the disclosure period for a prison sentence of between 1 and 2 years falls from 10 to 3 years. So-called “higher level” disclosure, affecting sensitive areas of employment, is not affected by the Bill. The Scottish Government’s stated aims are to have more focus on crime prevention, rehabilitation, and support for victims.’

The call for views is open until Friday 20 April. Further details are available here.


Book available for review: “Waiting at the Prison Gate: Women, Identity and the Russian Penal System” by Judith Pallot and Elena Katz

A new book is available for review for the Carceral Geography Working Group Book Review series.

The Russian Federation has one of the largest prison populations in the world. Women in particular are profoundly affected by the imprisonment of a family member. ‘Waiting at the Prison Gate’ details the experiences of these women-be they wives, mothers, girlfriends, daughters-who, as relatives of Russia’s three-quarters of a million prisoners, are the “invisible victims” of the country’s harsh penal policy. This book covers the workings of criminal sub-cultures; societal attitudes to parenthood, marriage and marital fidelity; young women’s quests for a husband; nostalgia for the Soviet period; state strategies towards dealing with political opponents; and the social construction of gender roles in twenty-first century Russia.

To review this book for the CGWG, please email Reviews should be c1000 words in length, delivered within 2 months of receipt of the book, and should specifically consider the work in relation to carceral geography and geographical conceptualisations of confinement. Reviews will be published on the website.


New book from Karen Morin – ‘Carceral Space, Prisoners and Animals’

Carceral Space, Prisoners and Animals (Hardback) book coverKaren Morin has published a thought-provoking new book – Carceral Space, Prisoners and Animals. In this book. she explores resonances across human and nonhuman carceral geographies, proposing an analysis of the carceral from a broader vantage point than has yet been done, and developing a ‘trans-species carceral geography’ that includes spaces of nonhuman captivity, confinement and enclosure alongside that of the human. The linkages across prisoner and animal carcerality that are placed into conversation draw from a number of institutional domains, based on their form, operation and effect.

This book is the latest product of Karen’s thinking on this topic – she published earlier ideas in a paper in Antipode entitled Carceral Space: Prisoners and Animals“, accompanied by a superb video abstract. She was the driving force behind the Conceptualising a Trans-Species Carceral Geography session at the Nordic Geographers conference in Stockholm in 2017. But with this new book she has now firmly established trans-species carceral geography, drawing attention to forms of violence that span species boundaries.

There is a 20% publisher’s discount available for Carceral Space, Prisoners and Animals. At the check out at, enter the code FLR40. [Note that this offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, and only applies to books purchased directly via the Routledge website]

If you would like to review this book for the Carceral Geography Working Group Book Review series (and receive a complimentary copy), please email


‘Fit for the future: transforming the court and tribunal estate’ – UK government consultation

Carceral geographers working on court spaces and spaces of trial and adjudication may wish to contribute to a UK government consultation on the proposed future strategy for HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) in its approach to court and tribunal estate reform in England and Wales.

Consideration of court spaces has been a recent focus in research in carceral geography, wider human geography, and more generally. For example, Carolyn McKay‘s recent work has queried video links from prison, and the nature of court ‘appearances’. And Alex Jeffrey‘s recent piece, the first in his series of essays on Legal Geography in Progress in Human Geography is a case in point – in this paper, he examines the spatiality of court processes, connecting interdisciplinary work that has considered the physical processes of trials with geographical work that has deepened understandings of the substance and properties of the material world. The specific focus of the first discussion is the built materiality of courts, tracing the emergence of work on the nature of trial spaces, court architecture and the arrangement of courtrooms. Rather than a review of progress in an already-defined intellectual field, he brings together an interdisciplinary set of works with the aim of tracing the future pathways for work on the geography of trials.

Jeffrey 2017

In this paper, he urges a rethinking of ‘the nature of human presence within court spaces. Rather than the rigid imagination of ‘front’ and ‘back’ stage, a focus on materiality encourages a retheorization of the permeability of the building and the courtroom, enmeshed as bodies are within both visible and invisible technological, social and physical infrastructures.’ (Jeffrey 2017, 7)

There are further details of the ongoing consultation here. 

According to the consultation website, the proposals detailed in the consultation document “have been identified following careful consideration of the ways in which we can improve the justice system. The [consultation] document sets these proposals within the wider context of the modernisation work underway in HMCTS and discusses our proposals for evaluating how our estate should change as a result. The consultation is aimed at court and tribunal users, legal professionals and bodies, the judiciary and magistracy and all other individuals with an interest in the court and tribunal estate in England and Wales.”

The consultation closes on 29 March 2018

Full programme announced for ‘The Society of Captives Today’ Leicester conference – book now!

Published in 1958, Gresham Sykes’ The Society of Captives has become regarded as the ‘cornerstone’ of prison sociology, with an unrivalled influence on the discipline. This conference marks the 60th anniversary of this classic text and seeks to critically assess the continued relevance of Sykes’ seminal work to contemporary penal scholarship.

Image result for university of leicester college court

College Court, University of Leicester

Image result for society of captivesTaking place across two days – 27-28 June 2018, at College Court at the University of Leicester, this conference brings together many of the key thinkers on prison social systems, compliance and resistance, custodial regimes, dignity, and hyperincarceration, from the UK, US, Canada, South Africa, Australia, and Western and Northern Europe.

View the full programme for the conference here Bookings can be made through the following page



New issue of ‘Sites’ – with contributions from the Space, Race, Bodies II: Sovereignty and Migration in a Carceral Age conference

Sites: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Cultural StudiesThe latest issue of Sites features contributions from the Space, Race, Bodies II: Sovereignty and Migration in a Carceral Age conference:


Edited by

Holly Randell-Moon, Bell Murphy, and Pounamu Jade Aikman 


He Kupu Tīmata: Editorial

Pounamu Jade William Emery Aikman


Space, Race, Bodies – A Conference Theme, A Timely Reminder

Moana Jackson

Carceral Recognition and the Colonial Present at the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge

Margaret Rose Boyce

Sovereignty, Indigeneity, and Biopower: The Carceral Trajectories of Canada’s Forced Removals of Indigenous Children and the Contemporary Prison System

David MacDonald, Jacqueline Gillis

Trouble on the Frontier: Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Sovereignty, and State Violence

Pounamu Jade William Emery Aikman

Paperless Arrests as Preventive Detention: Motion and Documentation in the Governance of Indigenous Peoples of Australia

Liam Grealy

Book Reviews Essay

UNDRIP Ten Years On: The Struggle For Peace in a Settler Colonial World

Pounamu Jade William Emery Aikman


CFP: Space, Race, Bodies III – Walls; 30 June – 1 July 2018, University of Otago, New Zealand

Space, Race, Bodies III: Walls is an academic and activist conference that addresses contemporary geographical and cultural practices premised on the construction and maintenance of walls, fences, barriers, and borders of all kinds. The conference is scheduled to take place on June 30th-July 1st, 2018, at the University of Otago.

Space, Race, Bodies III: Walls

June 30th-July 1st, 2018

University of Otago / Te Whare Wānanga o Otago

Dunedin, New Zealand / Ōtepoti, Aotearoa

Featuring keynote speakers: Associate Professor Leonie Pihama (University of Waikato) and Professor Alexander G. Weheliye (Northwestern University)


The construction of walls for security practices related to migration, asylum and refuge, and domestic prisons has significant human rights and social justice implications. Such practices are inextricably tied to social forms of exclusion and discrimination that create barriers to social, political, and economic well-being. The purpose of this conference is to facilitate engagement between academic researchers, criminal justice organisations, and migrant advocates on the local as well as trans-national connections between practices of security and social exclusion as they effect communities of colour, migrants, and Indigenous peoples. The conference invites abstracts, panels, and workshop proposals that address, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  • the human rights implications of security practices, particularly in terms of intersections between border exclusions and disability, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity
  • the historical connections between geographies of exclusion and contemporary geopolitical forms of migration management
  • alternatives to violent forms of border management and other creative and activist ways of tearing down walls!
  • Indigenous sovereignties, climate change, and migration
  • carceral politics and practices
  • social forms of inclusion and exclusion premised on race, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, and class
  • barriers to health and education in policy and political communication
  • capitalism and socio-economic forms of inclusion and exclusion
  • the military-industrial complex
  • dataveillance and new technologies of surveillance
  • biotechnologies, race, and racisms
  • geodata and new technologies of mapping and cartography
  • resource commodification and barriers to land and sea for public and Indigenous communities
  • media biopower

SRB III builds on the momentum and opportunities enabled by the first two Space, Race, Bodies conferences in publicising and disseminating scholarship and activism on the intersections between geography, racism, and racialisation. SRB I: Geocorpographies of City, Nation, Empire took place in December, 2014, at the University of Otago and featured keynotes included: Professor Joseph Pugliese (Macquarie University), Professor Jacinta Ruru (University of Otago), Professor Susan Stryker (University of Arizona), and Professor Jasbir Puar (Rutgers University). SRB II: Sovereignty and Migration in a Carceral Age took place in May, 2016, and included: Fadak Alfayadh (RISE: Refugees, Survivors, and Ex-Detainees), Associate Professor Stephanie Fryberg (University of Washington), Tame Iti, Moana Jackson, Crystal McKinnon and Emma Russell (Flat Out), Suzanne Menzies-Culling and Marie Laufiso (Tauiwi Solutions), Professor Margaret Mutu (University of Auckland), Teanau Tuiono, Emmy Rākete (No Pride in Prisons), and Annette Sykes. More information on these events can be found at:

Interested participants should send 200w abstracts and proposals, including a 50w bio, to Abstracts will be accepted on a rolling basis until April 1st, 2018.

All queries and questions can be sent to