Carceral Geography Working Group: new Book Review series

The Carceral Geography Working Group is instigating a book review series to be hosted here on the CGWG website.

The first batch of books (back cover blurb) for review, for which we are now inviting reviewers, are:

Badcock, Sarah (2016) A Prison Without Walls?: Eastern Siberian Exile in the Last Badcock A prison without wallsYears of Tsarism A Prison Without Walls? presents a snapshot of daily life for exiles and their dependents in eastern Siberia during the very last years of the Tsarist regime, from the 1905 revolution to the collapse of the Tsarist regime in 1917. This was an extraordinary period in Siberia’s history as a place of punishment. There was an unprecedented rise of Siberia’s penal use in this fifteen-year window, and a dramatic increase in the number of exiles punished for political offences. This work focuses on the region of Eastern Siberia, taking the regions of Irkutsk and Yakutsk in north-eastern Siberia as its focal points. Siberian exile was the antithesis of Foucault’s modern prison. The State did not observe, monitor, and control its exiles closely; often not even knowing where the exiles were. Exiles were free to govern their daily lives; free of fences and free from close observation and supervision, but despite these freedoms, Siberian exile represented one of Russia’s most feared punishments. In this volume, Sarah Badcock seeks to humanise the individuals who made up the mass of exiles, and the men, women, and children who followed them voluntarily into exile. A Prison Without Walls? is structured in a broad narrative arc that moves from travel to exile, life and communities in exile, work and escape, and finally illness in exile. The book gives a personal, human, empathetic insight into what exilic experience entailed, and allows us to comprehend why eastern Siberia was regarded as a terrible punishment, despite its apparent freedoms.

Behan, Cormac (2017) Citizen convicts: Prisoners, politics and the voteBehan citizen convicts Prisoner enfranchisement remains one of the few contested electoral issues in twenty-first-century democracies. It is at the intersection of punishment and representative government. Many jurisdictions remain divided on whether or not prisoners should be allowed access to the franchise. This book investigates the experience of prisoner enfranchisement in the Republic of Ireland. It examines the issue in a comparative context, beginning by locating prisoner enfranchisement in a theoretical framework, exploring the arguments for and against allowing prisoners to vote. Drawing on global developments in jurisprudence and penal policy, it examines the background to, and wider significance of, this change in the law. Using the Irish experience to examine the issue in a wider context, this book argues that the legal position concerning the voting rights of the imprisoned reveals wider historical, political and social influences in the treatment of those confined in penal institutions.

Dzur, Albert, Ian Loader, and Richard Sparks (2016) (Eds) Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration Dzur democratic theoryThe United States leads the world in incarceration, and the United Kingdom is persistently one of the European countries with the highest per capita rates of imprisonment. Yet despite its increasing visibility as a social issue, mass incarceration – and its inconsistency with core democratic ideals – rarely surfaces in contemporary Anglo-American political theory. Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration seeks to overcome this puzzling disconnect by deepening the dialogue between democratic theory and punishment policy. This collection of original essays initiates a multi-disciplinary discussion among philosophers, political theorists, and criminologists regarding ways in which contemporary democratic theory might begin to think beyond mass incarceration. Rather than viewing punishment as a natural reaction to crime and imprisonment as a sensible outgrowth of this reaction, the volume argues that crime and punishment are institutions that reveal unmet demands for public oversight and democratic influence. Chapters explore theoretical paths towards de-carceration and alternatives to prison, suggest ways in which democratic theory can strengthen recent reform movements, and offer creative alternatives to mass incarceration. Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration offers guideposts for critical thinking about incarceration, examining ways to rebuild crime control institutions and create a healthier, more just society.

Furman, Rich, Douglas Epps, and Greg Lamphear (Eds) (2016) Detaining the Immigrant Other: Global and Transnational Issues Furman detaining the immigrant otherThis edited text explores immigration detention through a global and transnational lens. Immigration detention is frequently transnational; the complex dynamics of apprehending, detaining, and deporting undocumented immigrants involve multiple organizations that coordinate and often act across nation state boundaries. The lives of undocumented immigrants are also transnational in nature; the detention of immigrants in one country (often without due process and without providing the opportunity to contact those in their country of origin) has profound economic and emotional consequences for their families. The authors explore immigration detention in countries that have not often been previously explored in the literature. Some of these chapters include analyses of detention in countries such as Malaysia, South Africa, Turkey and Indonesia. They also present chapters that are comparative in nature and deal with larger, macro issues about immigration detention in general. The authors’ frequent usage of lived experience in conjunction with a broad scholarly knowledge base is what sets this volume apart from others, making it useful and practical for scholars in the social sciences and anybody interested in the global phenomenon of immigration detention.

Hasan, Mushirul (2016) Roads to Freedom: Prisoners under Colonial Rule Hasan Roads to FreedomThis book examines the history of prison and prisoners in colonial India. Based on substantial archival research, it presents the conditions of the prisoners, their vision for the freedom movement and the various aspects of prisons in the subcontinent. By focusing on the lives and motivations of select prisoners, it places their lived experiences within the larger rubric of Indian nationalism and explores the notions of the political, protest and resistance during the first half of the twentieth century. The work also deals with issues such as the differences between Indian and European prisons as well as the conception of criminal classes in the colony. It therefore fills in a gap area in modern Indian history and provides a historical context to the contemporary Indian prison system. It draws upon a wide range of sources including the records at the National Archives of India, private papers, native newspaper reports, memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies.

Johnson, Andrew (2017) If I Give My Soul: Faith Behind Bars in Rio de Janeiro Johnson If I give my soulPentecostal Christianity is flourishing inside the prisons of Rio de Janeiro. To find out why, Andrew Johnson dug deep into the prisons themselves. He began by spending two weeks living in a Brazilian prison as if he were an inmate: sleeping in the same cells as the inmates, eating the same food, and participating in the men’s daily routines as if he were incarcerated. And he returned many times afterward to observe prison churches’ worship services, which were led by inmates who had been voted into positions of leadership by their fellow prisoners. He accompanied Pentecostal volunteers when they visited cells that were controlled by Rio’s most dominant criminal gang to lead worship services, provide health care, and deliver other social services to the inmates. Why does this faith resonate so profoundly with the incarcerated? Pentecostalism, argues Johnson, is the “faith of the killable people” and offers ex-criminals and gang members the opportunity to positively reinvent their public personas. If I Give My Soul is a deeply personal look at the relationship between the margins of Brazilian society and the Pentecostal faith, both behind bars and in the favelas, Rio de Janeiro’s peripheral neighbourhoods. Based on his intimate relationships with the figures in this book, Johnson makes a passionate case that Pentecostal practice behind bars is an act of political radicalism as much as a spiritual experience.

Moran, Dominique and Anna Schliehe (Eds) (2017) Carceral Spatiality: Dialogues between Geography and Criminology carceral-spatialityThis edited collection speaks to and expands on existing debates around incarceration. Rather than focusing on the bricks and mortar of institutional spaces, this volume’s inventive engagements in ‘thinking through carcerality’ touch on more elusive concepts of identity, memory and internal – as well as physical – walls and bars. Edited by two human geographers, and positioned within a criminological context, this original collection draws together essays by geographers and criminologists with a keen interest in carceral studies. The authors stretch their disciplinary boundaries; tackling a range of contemporary literatures to engage in new conversations and raising important questions within current debates on incarceration. A highly interdisciplinary project, this edited collection will be of particular interest to scholars of the criminal justice system, social policy, and spatial carceral studies.

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.

Potential reviewers, please contact the CGWG committee via to claim your chosen book!

Prison Architecture and Design in the Context of Reform: Symposium at the Royal Institute of British Architects, 2 June 2017

PAS 2017 TwitterTo mark the end of a major, international ESRC-funded research study into prison architecture, design and technology conducted by the University of Brighton and the University of Birmingham, delegates are invited to register for a Symposium on Prison Architecture and Design in the Context of Reform.

The Symposium will be held on 2 June 2017, at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), 66 Portland Place, London

Reflecting the three-year study, the Symposium will focus on prison planning, design and modernisation in England & Wales, Scotland, Norway and Denmark. Speakers and delegates will be mixture of academic researchers with a particular interest in prisons and imprisonment, architects who have designed custodial facilities, prison managers and senior corrections and justice personnel.

The programme will include panels on:

  • prison reform in England & Wales in the current context of reform
  • the Nordic experience
  • the Scottish experience
  • the power of horticulture, gardens and landscape

and a

  • World Cafe discussion

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Prof Nick Hardwick (Royal Holloway, University of London, and former HM Chief Inspector of Prisons)
  • Prof Yvonne Jewkes (University of Brighton)
  • Christopher Liddle (Chairman, HLM Architects, London)
  • Mads Mandrup Hansen (CF Moller Architects, Copenhagen)
  • Stein Erik Laeskogen (Statsbygg, Oslo)
  • Dr Berit Johnsen (Head of Research, the Correctional Service of Norway Staff Academy (KRUS), Oslo)
  • Dr Sarah Armstrong (University of Glasgow)
  • Roland Karthaus (Matter Architecture and RIBA Research Trust award holder)
  • Dr Daryl Martin (University of York)
  • Dr Jen Turner (University of Liverpool)
  • Dr Geraldine Brown (Coventry University)
  • Erwin James (The Guardian)
  • Karl Lenton (Safe Innovation/The Free Prisoner)
  • Dr Kate Gooch (University of Leicester and HMP Berwyn)

Attendance is Free. Register for your place here.

‘Carceral Crossings’ launched by the Carceral Geography Working Group of the RGS-IBG

With the launch of the Carceral Geography Working Group, we also launch a series of Carceral Crossings, intended to showcase both new scholarship in this field, and to provide an opportunity for Early Career Researcher (undergraduate, masters, doctoral, and postdoctoral) members of the CGWG to bring their own research to the attention of the wider community.

Crossings combine brief reviews of a recent publication (e.g. a book or paper), with discussion of the resonance of that publication for the author’s ongoing work. Intended as blog-type pieces of up to 750 words (excluding references), submissions are warmly invited. If you would like to submit a Crossings piece, please scroll down and fill out the form below.

The first Carceral Crossings piece comes from Victoria Pereyra Iraola, a doctoral researcher at the University of Warwick, reflecting on Turner and Peters’ edited collection ‘Carceral Mobilities’ and introducing her own research on incarceration in Argentina. Read it here!

One-day conference at U.Birmingham for Centre for Crime, Justice and Policing – 26 June 2017

The Centre for Crime, Justice and Policing at the University of Birmingham is holding a one-day conference at the Edgbaston campus, Birmingham.


Confirmed topics include: mental health and offending, domestic violence, sexual offending, spatial analysis of crime, carceral geography, early intervention, prosecution, serial offending, solvability analysis, wellbeing of emergency services personnel, and extremism.

This event will be of interest to practitioners and academics working in the areas of crime, justice and policing, as well as stakeholders and policy-makers. Students of these topics are very welcome to attend too as this will present an excellent opportunity to network.

Register for this event by completing a quick online form.

Prison Research Network (PRisoN) at Leeds Beckett University: Annual Conference 19 May 2017, Leeds, UK

The Prison Research Network (PRisoN) based at Leeds Beckett University is holding an annual conference on 19th May 2017.

This annual conference brings together delegates from universities, prisons, charities and organisations to discuss current issues relating imprisonment in research, policy and practice.

There will be a wide range of topics under discussion, including:

  • Prisoner Control Technology
  • Autism in Prison
  • Older Prisoners
  • Prison Violence

The keynote will be given by Professor Shadd Maruna.

All are welcome to attend.

19th May 9.30-4.30

Lewis Jones Suite, Carnegie Stand, Headingley Carnegie Stadium, St Michael’s Lane, Headingley, Leeds, LS6 3BR

Cost: £10 (£5 for concessions)

For booking information see

CFP: ‘Prison states and political embodiment’, September 7-8, 2017 University of Lisbon, Portugal

What are the political structures and effects of contemporary carceral institutions? How are they inscribed within wider cultural and political circuits of meaning in ways that shape contemporary society? How do incarcerated subjects resist their objectification and erasure within the contemporary industrial prison complex through strategies such as writing, creative production, autobiography, political protest and other modes of survival and expression? And in particular, how do certain socially opressed and politically vulnerable groups (such as women, transgender subjects, racialized subjects or political prisioners, among others) participate of these kinds of resistance and reinscription?

The international conference “Prison States and Political Embodiment” is concerned with these questions and the plurality of issues which ramify from them. By interrogating how the contemporary prison shapes cultural imaginaries and how, in turn, cultural imaginaries participate in the making – and unmaking – of hegemony, we hope to provide, through the organization of this conference, a fruitful critical occasion for the intellectual and political reflection on incarceration, embodiment and identity within contemporary carceral culture.

The conference will be held on the 7th and 8th of September 2017, at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Lisbon, in Portugal. It is an initiative of Project CILM – Cities and (In)securities in Literature and Media, coordinated by principal researcher Susana Araújo, which is based at the Center for Comparative Studies of the University of Lisbon. The international conference will be followed by a special parallel event concerned with the same topics and articulated in a non-academic space, so as to ensure the dissemination of the critical thinking enabled in academia outside of its specific institutional limits.

For further information, see

Rethinking Prisons Research conference – U.Leicester 13/14 June 2017: CFP and methodological vignettes

Registration is now open for a two-day conference “Rethinking Prisons Research” at the University of Leicester, UK, focusing on the emerging theoretical, conceptual and empirical themes in prisons research, and possible future directions.

Carceral geographers are warmly invited to attend and to submit abstracts and/or methodological vignettes (see below).

Plenary speakers include:

  • Dr Jamie Bennett (HMPPS)
  • Dr Ben Crewe (University of Cambridge)
  • Dr Dominique Moran (University of Birmingham)
  • Dr Ruth Mann (HMPPS)

The conference is free for participants. Register here.

Call for Papers (and vignettes)

Abstracts are invited for papers addressing the broad theme of ‘rethinking prisons research.’ Whilst papers that address methodological concerns are welcome, the intention is that papers should generally speak to theoretical and conceptual themes and debates.

Abstracts from early career researchers and postgraduate researchers are particularly welcome.

Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words and should be emailed to: Dr Kate Gooch ( by the deadline for submission which is 19th May 2017

Dominique Moran’s plenary session at the “Rethinking Prisons Research” conference will be sponsored by the Carceral Geography Working Group of the RGS-IBG, and will address the methodological intersections between (carceral) geography and criminology. In other words, it will explore the ways in which geographers approach carcerality methodologically, and the challenges and benefits of deploying methods such as mapping and walked interviews in the carceral setting.

Separate from the general CFP for the conference, there is an invitation for methodological vignettes, 3-5 minute ‘snapshot’ presentations by carceral geographers or other researchers using spatial methods (broadly conceived), to be presented as part of this plenary session. These could be reflections on completed fieldwork, fieldwork in progress, or planned fieldwork. Contributing a vignette does not preclude presenters from submitting a full abstract for the conference itself, and if a full paper is also presented, there can be overlap between this and the vignette. To discuss, and/or to suggest a vignette, please email Dominique at by 19 May 2017.

Call for Space, Place and Crime papers, European Society of Criminology conference 2017

The Abstract submission for the European Society of Criminology conference held from 13th to 16th September 2017 in Cardiff, Wales has opened, and a specific call for papers might be of interest to carceral geographers.

Ellie Bates, Coordinator of the ESC 2017 Space, Place and Crime Panels Organizing Committee (on behalf of Wouter Steenbeek, Marre Lammers and Christophe Vandeviver of the Space, Place and Crime ESC Working Group have published following CFP.

The Space, Place and Crime ESC Working Group would like to start organizing coordinated Space, Place and Crime panels for this year’s conference, following last year’s highly successful full day of excellent and interesting Crime and Place panels in Münster.

Similar to last year in Münster, they welcome suggestions for both, full panels, or individual papers, that focus on space, place and crime research.

The call is open to everyone, whether or not you are a member of the Space, Place and Crime working group (yet). The organisers warmly welcome papers on any aspect of research into Space, Place and Crime including both theoretical, and empirical research; and both quantitative, and qualitative methods.

If you are interested in presenting on a Space, Place and Crime panel at ESC 2017 they require the following:

For individual papers:

Please send your name, school/organization affiliation, title of presentation, and a presentation abstract (200 words), as well as the name, e-mail addresses and affiliations of any co-authors. Their task will then be to sort individual contributions and propose well-structured panels to the Cardiff organizers.

For full panels:

Panels can feature up to 4 papers. Please send the title of a proposed panel session and a 200 word abstract describing the panel plus full details for each of the individual papers proposed to be included within the panel [Lead presenter name, school/organization affiliation, title of presentation, and a presentation abstract (200 words), as well as the name, e-mail addresses and affiliations of any co-authors].

Please note all submissions must be in English, the official language of EUROCRIM 2017. All presentations based on accepted abstract submissions must be made in English.

As stated above, the ESC submission deadline is 15 June 2017, in order to arrange panels well in advance, the organisers are asking for submissions no later than Friday 12 May 2017.

Please send all submissions and/or questions to Ellie Bates (

The organisers hope to reply no later than 7 June 2017, 1 week before the ESC submission deadline. Please note that the final decision on acceptance of panels and papers lies with the Cardiff organizing committee.

The conference website can be found here:



Low Level Sanction British Society of Criminology / Liverpool Hope University Conference

For any UK carceral geographers not attending the AAG2017 next week, this conference looks like a great opportunity:

Liverpool Hope University is hosting a British Society of Criminology one day conference on Low level sanctions on Wednesday 5th April, at Hope Park Campus.

Speakers include: Prof. George Mair, (Liverpool Hope), Prof. Martin Wasik (Keele), Prof. Sir Anthony Bottoms (Cambridge), Dr Adam Snow (Liverpool Hope), Dr Natalia Vibla (Liverpool Hope), Dr Sara Grace (Salford University) and Dr John Bache (Magistrates Association).

This conference is a joint venture between the British Society of Criminology and the Social Sciences Department at Liverpool Hope University. The aim of this conference is to interrogate how low level sentences (those imposed by the courts) and penalties (out of court disposals, including cautions and community resolutions, imposed by a range of enforcement agencies) are used to deal with criminality in a proportionate manner. It will examine the extent, meaning, messages and purposes of the low level sentence, and penalty, by drawing on nascent research and practitioner knowledge to provide a holistic understanding of the impact of low level sentences on criminal justice policy.

This conference will bring together academics, post graduates and practitioners in the field of sentencing and community justice. It aims to provide insight into the applicability of sentencing theory to low level offences and ask critical questions about the purposes, experiences and trends of low level sentences and penalties.

This is a FREE event. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Dr Adam Snow ( for catering purposes and evening wine reception.

Global Carceral Geographies at the AAG2017

The 2017 AAG (American Association of Geographers) conference takes place next week (5-9 April)  in Boston, and there will be four sessions on carceral geography.

Confinement is on the move. In recent years, governments around the world have resorted to deploying the spatial power of incarceration in its many architectural, legal, and embodied forms to shutter away an enormous number of lives that are deemed undesirable, undocumented or dangerous. From the U.S.’ enormous federal and state prison system to Libya’s migrant jails at the edges of the E.U., the confinement of bodies has been used as a panacea for complex political and economic crises, often exacerbating the very problems they claim to resolve and creating a global underclass of people confined and/or surveilled by the state and for-profit contractors. Geographers have played a critical role in research on confinement, including: the political economy of prisons, the proliferation of immigrant detention, the affective and embodied life inside detention, historical geographies of confinement, and the prevalence of mobile carceral networks. We aim to move existing literature forward by challenging the apparent differences between various types of confinement (such as incarceration and immigrant detention), widening our discussion of confinement beyond the U.S. and U.K., and deepening our methodological and theoretical frameworks for analyzing carceral geographies.

1205 Global Carceral Geographies I: Carceral Experiences is scheduled on Wednesday, 5th April , from 10:00 AM – 11:40 AM in Room 105, Hynes, Plaza Level.

In this session, we focus specifically on how people experience incarceration as a spatial technology of power. The session features papers from:

Anna Schliehe, Dr – University of Cambridge Dialogues across carceral space: comparative research and the case of penal exceptionalism

Anaïs Tschanz – University of Montreal Carceral (im)mobilities and inmate experience of distance in the Canadian province of Quebec.

Nicolas Sallée – Université de Montréal Imprisoned rehabilitation? The carceral nature of a Quebec secure juvenile facility.

Jennifer Turner – University of Liverpool; Dominique Moran – University of Birmingham; Yvonne Jewkes – University of Brighton Serving time with a sea view: escaping prison via therapeutic blue space

1405 Global Carceral Geographies II: Carceral Societies is scheduled on Wednesday 5th April from 12:40 PM – 2:20 PM in Room 105, Hynes, Plaza Level

In this session, we focus specifically on incarceration and the management of confined bodies as an endemic symptom of social violence. The session features papers from:

Olivier Milhaud – University Paris-Sorbonne, UMR ENeC CNRS A theoretical framework for confinement (prisons, distance, discontinuities, France)

Julie De Dardel – University of Geneva Ethics in and after the field in prison research

1505 Global Carceral Geographies III: Confining the Other is scheduled on Wednesday 5th April from 2:40 PM – 4:20 PM in Room 105, Hynes, Plaza Level

In this session, we focus specifically on the role of confinement in creating and reinforcing notions of geographic, legal, and social “otherness”. The session features papers from:

Lauren Martin – Durham University The Carceral Mobilities of Cash: Outsourcing, Digital Surveillance, and Refused Asylum-seeker Assistance in the United Kingdom

Leigh Barrick – University of British Columbia Separating families to maintain family unity, and other paradoxes of U.S. deterrence policy

Austin Kocher – The Ohio State University, Department of Geography The Legal Construction of Space: On the Juridical Relationship Between Immigrant Detention, Immigration Courts, and Border Enforcement in the United States

Adam Joseph Barker – University of Leicester Carcerality and Indigeneity: the roots of ‘Indian territory’ in Turtle Island (North America)

1605 Global Carceral Geographies IV: Carceral Intersections is scheduled on Wednesday 5th April, from 4:40 PM – 6:20 PM in Room 105, Hynes, Plaza Level.

In this session, we focus specifically on the intersections between incarceration and other forms of political power and social control. The session features papers from:

Emma Marshall – University of Exeter Investigating the possibilities of online activism as a challenge to carceral space

Jesse Proudfoot – Durham University Scaling Addiction

Odilka Sabrina Santiago – Binghamton University  Predictive Policing and the Transformation of Carceral Space: Promotes, rather than, Prevents Violence

Christophe Mincke – National Institute for Forensic Science and Criminology From confinement to monitoring. The carceral as management of the transitory

Elsewhere in the program, carceral geographers will also surely be interested to attend:

2492 PREM: The Daily Life of Police Violence on Thursday, 6th April, from 1:20 PM – 3:00 PM in Provincetown, Marriott, Fourth Floor

3192 PREM: Racialized State Power and the Problem of Reform on Friday, 7th April, from 8:00 AM – 9:40 AM in Provincetown, Marriott, Fourth Floor


3492 PREM: A Roundtable on Prisons, Racism, Empire, Militarism
on Friday, 7th April 2017, from 1:20 PM – 3:00 PM in Provincetown, Marriott, Fourth Floor

…and papers from…

Brett Story, Post-Doctoral Fellow – CUNY Graduate Center  The Prison in the City

Vanessa Anne Massaro, PhD – Bucknell University  “In and outta jail”: State reliance on family support networks through prisons’ revolving door

Shaul Cohen – University of Oregon Transcending Space, Embracing Time: Geographic Imagination From Within a Prison

Madeleine Hamlin – Syracuse University Second Chances in the Second City: Mapping Chicago’s Carceral Continuum

Jen Bagelman,- Exeter University Subterranean Detention & Sanctuary from below

Richard Nisa – Fairleigh Dickinson University Laboratories of Enemy Behavior: Cold War Social Science and the Korean War Prison

Bella Robinson – CoyoteRI, and Elena Shih – Brown University Policing Modern Day Slavery: Sex Work and the Carceral State in Rhode Island