Session 5: Webs of exclusion I

9:00 -10:30     Session 5: Webs of exclusion I Chair: Christophe Mincke 

Conceptualising carceral mobilities through bail court ethnography: Churn, stretch and webs of exclusion Emma Russell (La Trobe University, Australia) 

This paper draws on the findings of an ethnographic study of an Australian bail and remand court –a crucial node in a system that has recently seen significant growth in pre-sentence remand. The paper uses these findings to build on existing understandings of the importance of mobilities to carceral systems and power, by developing notions of ‘carceral churn’, system ‘stretch’ and webs of exclusion. The process of bail and remand requires carceral mobilities: it sucks in and churns out un-sentenced prisoners and others subject to conditional unfreedom in the community. These conditional unfreedoms operate both temporally and spatially – via curfews, reporting, summons, and spatial exclusions – and reproduce ‘webs of exclusion’. The paper argues that the bail court’s churn reproduces constructions of criminality and its ‘stretchy’ qualities enable a project of carceral buildup.

Like being ‘a prisoner’: Considering community treatment order legislation as disability-based incarceration Amber Karanikolas (La Trobe University, Australia) 

Community treatment orders (CTOs) emerged as part of mental health law reforms in the 1970s and are now a major aspect of psychiatric practice across the world. Originally conceived of as a “less restrictive” alternative to involuntary treatment as an inpatient and compulsory hospitalisation, CTOs require compulsory treatment while living in the community. A growing body of literature acknowledges the human rights implications of increasing reliance on CTOs and their role in expanding the mechanisms for treatment to people’s homes (Gooding 2016). If CTOs are an increasingly accepted way in which “madness” and “mad” subjects are managed, what can scholars theorising ‘the carceral’ (Moran, Turner & Schliehe 2017; Hamlin & Speer 2017) learn from these practices of containment, ‘care’ and control? Drawing on Erick Fabris’s concept of ‘chemical incarceration’ which describes howbodies themselves become “an alien place of interlocking material and symbolic imprisonment” (Beaupert 2018), I argue that mobility is a key component of carcerality. I aim to show how the text and testimony of patients and ex-patients, available in the qualitative literature on CTOs, complicate traditional ideas of carceral space, ‘sites’, edifices and landscapes as static, fixed and external to the body.

Conceptualizing and exploring coercive space-time-regimes Marina Richter (HES-SO Valais/Wallis, Switzerland), Irene Marti (University of Bern, Institute for Penal Law and Criminology, Switzerland) and Ueli Hostettler (University of Bern, Institute for Penal Law and Criminology, Switzerland) 

One distinctive feature of prisons and other quasi-carceral institutions is the use of coercion to manage inmates or people living in them. Much has been written about life in prisons and its characteristic forms of deprivation and pains (Sykes 1958) resulting from the density of rules and strict control. Following Moran (2015, 2012), we think carceral regimes of supervision need to be understood and analyzed in their spatiality and in temporality. We propose to explore the coercive principles of management in carceral institutions using the notion of space-time regime. For a Swiss National Science Foundation financed research project starting 2021, we developed the notion of space-time-regime to analyze and compare coercive regimes in (potentially) carceral institutions such as prisons, refugee centers, psychiatric hospitals and old-people’s homes. Through space-time regimes, institutions organize individuals in specific ways, restricting their freedom of movement and autonomy to varying degrees. We (1) outline the cornerstones of the concept based on theoretical and methodological approaches from carceral geography and institutional ethnography (Smith 1987, 2005). The use of space-time regimes as an analytical lens for the exploration of contemporary mechanisms and processes, as well as the experience of social exclusion, will open a unique and fruitful perspective on carceral and quasi-carceral institutions. This allows to develop an understanding of these institutions in their own right to compare for commonalities and differences. Moreover, it calls for a broad empirical approach allowing to investigate facets of involved actors, subtleties of rules and principles as well as different modes of resistance etc. At the same time, there is a need to develop a strategy that allows for comparison. With reference to the proposed comparison of institutions, we will (2) discuss requirements for the empirical approach and present possible proceedings.