Extended deadline: CFP for Carceral Geography at the Chicago AAG 2015

***note deadline extended to 10th October***

Papers are invited, on diverse aspects of carceral geography, for the Association of American Geographers annual conference, to be held in Chicago in April 2015

Session organisers: Jennifer Turner (University of Leicester), Marie Hutton (University of Birmingham), and Dominique Moran (University of Birmingham)

Although prisons and criminal justice systems are integral parts of governance and techniques of governmentality, the geographical study of the prison and other confined or closed spaces is still relatively novel. The vibrant subdiscipline of carceral geography has already made substantial progress, has established useful and fruitful dialogues with cognate disciplines of criminology and prison sociology, and is attuned to issues of contemporary import such as hyperincarceration and the advance of the punitive state. It has also used the carceral context as a lens through which to view concepts with wider currency within contemporary and critical human geography. Thus far, it has made key contributions to debates within human geography over mobility, liminality, and embodiment, and it has increasingly found a wider audience, with geographical approaches to carceral space being taken up by and developed further within criminology and prison sociology. Carceral geography brings to the study of prisons and imprisonment an understanding of relational space, as encountered, performed and fluid. Rather than seeing prisons as spatially fixed and bounded containers for people and imprisonment practices, rolled out across Cartesian space through prison systems straightforwardly mappable in scale and distance, carceral geography has tended towards an interpretation of prisons as fluid, geographically-anchored sites of connections and relations, both connected to each other and articulated with wider social processes through and via mobile and embodied practices. Hence its focus on the experience, performance and mutability of prison space, the porous prison boundary, mobility within and between institutions, and the ways in which meanings and significations are manifest within fluid and ever-becoming carceral landscapes.

This session both invites contributions which reflect the development of carceral geography to date, and also those which suggest future developments – these could explore:
• the emergent discourse of criminological cartography;
• transdisciplinary synergies between carceral geography, law, psychology, and architectural studies;
• prison design and the lived experience of carceral spaces;
• affect and emotion;
• carceral TimeSpace;
• the embodied experience of incarceration;
• feminist and corporeal carceral geographies;
• theorisation of coerced, governmental or disciplined mobility;
• confluence with critical border studies;
• dialogue with architectural and cultural geographies;
• engagement with abolitionist praxis;
• notions of the purposes of imprisonment and the geographical and/or historical contexts in which these are socially constructed.

Submissions:
Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words by email to Jennifer Turner (jt264@le.ac.uk) and Marie Hutton (m.a.hutton@bham.ac.uk) by 10th October 2014.

Successful submissions will be contacted by 17th October 2014 and will be expected to register and submit their abstracts online at the AAG website by October 31st 2014 ahead of a session proposal deadline of 5th November 2014. Please note a range of registration fees will apply and must be paid before the submission of abstracts to the AAG online system.

Special issue on Peruvian prisons

Thank you to Stephanie Campos for alerting me to the publication of a special issue of Bulletin de l’Institut Francais d’Etudes Andines about imprisonent in Peru.

Stephanie’s own paper (in English) “Extranjeras”: Citizenship and Women Serving Drug Trafficking Sentences in the Santa Monica Prison is featured, as well as work by Camille Boutron on the strategic use of prison space as a referential element in the construction of conflict identities in Peru; by Chloé Constant on the economy of the expanded prison space: a prison in Lima at the heart of multiple informal operations; by Carlos Aguirre on men and prison bars: APRA (Aprista) in the penitentiary, 1932-1945; and by Marie J. Manrique on generating innocence: the creation, use and implications of the identification as “innocent” in the conflict and post-conflict periods in Peru (all in Spanish, with abstracts in English and French).

Call for Papers: Carceral Geography at the Association of American Geographers conference, Chicago, 2015

Papers are invited, on diverse aspects of carceral geography, for the Association of American Geographers annual conference, to be held in Chicago in April 2015

Session organisers: Jennifer Turner (University of Leicester), Marie Hutton (University of Birmingham), and Dominique Moran (University of Birmingham)

Although prisons and criminal justice systems are integral parts of governance and techniques of governmentality, the geographical study of the prison and other confined or closed spaces is still relatively novel. The vibrant subdiscipline of carceral geography has already made substantial progress, has established useful and fruitful dialogues with cognate disciplines of criminology and prison sociology, and is attuned to issues of contemporary import such as hyperincarceration and the advance of the punitive state. It has also used the carceral context as a lens through which to view concepts with wider currency within contemporary and critical human geography. Thus far, it has made key contributions to debates within human geography over mobility, liminality, and embodiment, and it has increasingly found a wider audience, with geographical approaches to carceral space being taken up by and developed further within criminology and prison sociology. Carceral geography brings to the study of prisons and imprisonment an understanding of relational space, as encountered, performed and fluid. Rather than seeing prisons as spatially fixed and bounded containers for people and imprisonment practices, rolled out across Cartesian space through prison systems straightforwardly mappable in scale and distance, carceral geography has tended towards an interpretation of prisons as fluid, geographically-anchored sites of connections and relations, both connected to each other and articulated with wider social processes through and via mobile and embodied practices. Hence its focus on the experience, performance and mutability of prison space, the porous prison boundary, mobility within and between institutions, and the ways in which meanings and significations are manifest within fluid and ever-becoming carceral landscapes.

This session both invites contributions which reflect the development of carceral geography to date, and also those which suggest future developments – these could explore:
• the emergent discourse of criminological cartography;
• transdisciplinary synergies between carceral geography, law, psychology, and architectural studies;
• prison design and the lived experience of carceral spaces;
• affect and emotion;
• carceral TimeSpace;
• the embodied experience of incarceration;
• feminist and corporeal carceral geographies;
• theorisation of coerced, governmental or disciplined mobility;
• confluence with critical border studies;
• dialogue with architectural and cultural geographies;
• engagement with abolitionist praxis;
• notions of the purposes of imprisonment and the geographical and/or historical contexts in which these are socially constructed.

Submissions:
Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words by email to Jennifer Turner (jt264@le.ac.uk) and Marie Hutton (m.a.hutton@bham.ac.uk) by 1st October 2014.

Successful submissions will be contacted by 8th October 2014 and will be expected to register and submit their abstracts online at the AAG website by October 31st 2014 ahead of a session proposal deadline of 5th November 2014. Please note a range of registration fees will apply and must be paid before the submission of abstracts to the AAG online system.

Forthcoming book: Historical Geographies of Prisons: Unlocking the Usable Carceral Past

Karen Morin and I are excited to announce that our new edited volume is forthcoming with Routledge, in their new Historical Geography series. This book, Historical Geographies of Prisons: Unlocking the Usable Carceral Past, arises from conversations between Karen and I over the past couple of years, and builds both on her Distinguished Historical Geographer Plenary Lecture: Carceral Space and the Usable Past (published here in the Journal of Historical Geography) and on themed sessions we organised at the AAG conference in Tampa earlier this year.

The book, which Routledge intend to launch at the International Conference of Historical Geographers in London in July 2015, analyzes and critiques practices of incarceration, regimes of punishment, and their corresponding spaces of “corrections” from the eighteenth through twentieth centuries in sites spanning the U.S., Canada, Asia, and Latin America. It will be the first volume of its kind to use an explicitly historical-geographical lens to study the development and evolution of prisons. Contributors to the volume collectively argue that an historical geographical approach to studying corrections can improve our understanding of the prison crisis that we see in many parts of the world today (most notably the U.S.), but in order to do so, argue that we must first pragmatically distinguish a “usable” historical geography of the carceral past.

We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring together a volume of original papers, expansive in geographical and historical reach. Our authors range from senior established professors to emerging junior scholars. Contributors to the volume include self-identifying historical geographers as well as experts in carceral pasts who follow historical geography logics and methodologies. We are excited to work with these colleagues, and to bring their work to a diverse audience.

We plan a session at the ICHG in 2015 around the book itself, the themes that it addresses, and the wider context within which it sits – watch this space for more details!

 

Sharing cells and prison crowding – managing carceral space

The recent announcement from the UK Justice Secretary Chris Grayling that dozens of already full prisons would have to accommodate more inmates because the prison population is growing faster than expected, has caused widespread concern and consternation. Forty prisons in England and Wales have been told to raise their “operational capacity” in the next two months, although apparently all but six of these are are already running at full capacity, or are overcrowded. Grayling described the move as an indication that he was taking “sensible steps to make sure we can accommodate everyone”.

The Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick, criticised the state of prisons in England and Wales, and claimed that “political and policy failure” was behind dangerous overcrowding in publicly-run jails, in a context of the recent closure of 18 prisons in the UK as a cost-cutting measure which itself has attracted recent criticism.

The concerns over overcrowding and cell-sharing are well-founded, and have been widely debated in the media in recent weeks, for example in this piece in The Guardian which highlights the danger of cell sharing in a context of high levels of mental health problems, which can themselves arguably be exacerbated by close confinement. On the other hand, solitary confinement is also known to be extremely damaging – as this recent piece from the US on the damage done to the teenage brain by time in solitary demonstrates.

Whilst the policy context of overcrowding is impossible to ignore, and whilst the problems it causes are inexcusable, it is perhaps worth considering the insights provided by recent research into cell sharing and prison crowding, which offer some suggestions as to the ways in which more careful management of prison spaces may offer some relief from the psychological pressures of shared space.

At the heart of the problem of cell sharing is the notion of privacy. Using Altman’s model of privacy, the issue is the changing need that people have both for solitude, and for interaction with others. Optimal privacy is not necessarily being alone, but having the ability to control when to be alone and when to have company – whether in intimate relationships, as anonymity in a crowd, or reserve when withdrawn into oneself. Forced isolation is different from elective solitude, of course. Prison reduces, if not totally removes, the ability for inmates to control the nature of their social interaction, through the ways in which they are accommodated; in dormitories, in shared (or crowded) cells, or in isolation – each of which imposes a certain type of social contact which may be intolerable for some, or most, or indeed all, of the time for the individuals concerned.

To an extent this is unavoidable, in institutions that need to maintain order, and reduce the propensity for unrest, but it is worth noting that the ways in which carceral spaces are managed can have a mitigating effect on their potentially damaging nature. For example, where prisoners share cells, in which basic privacy norms are violated by enforced proximity, carefully managing access to communal or outside space can enable some relief from this situation. As Bogard and Wener (2007) noted, in their study of a prison in which the sharing of cells meant that the dayroom was too small for all the prisoners to occupy it at once, policy was to allow half the prisoners access to the dayroom at a time. How this half was chosen, though, had significant implications for prisoners’ welfare. Prisoners from an upper tier of cells were first allowed out, and when they returned to their cells, prisoners from the lower tier replaced them in the dayroom. Neither set of prisoners, therefore, was offered the opportunity for solitude in the cells which had been designed for occpancy by one person. As an alternative, allowing one prisoner from each cell, both upper and lower, into the dayroom at a time, would have offered the opportunity for ‘in time’ to represent solitude, privacy, and relief for the prisoner remaining in the cell, whilst ‘out time’ was enjoyed by his cellmate.

In his research on privacy in French prisons Olivier Milhaud reported the pressures of cell sharing, as described by inmates:  

When there are two of you [in the same cell], it is overcrowding. There is always someone with you. Whenever you eat, wash yourself, go to the toilet, cry, there are always two of you. There is no privacy. It is difficult… It’s very small. If you are with someone else, you have no privacy. You feel stress, anguish. I can’t bear it.… one of you is shitting and you, you are eating. One is peeing and you are eating. There are many things to endure. (Milhaud and Moran 2013, 172).

Although the strategy of releasing cell inmates one at a time was not in place in the prisons he studied, he found that when given the opportunity to leave their shared cells, some prisoners would forgo ‘out time’ for the chance to remain in the cell alone, enjoying some elective solitude. 

Wener (2012) argues that the absence of privacy in prison has become such an accepted norm, that changing approaches and management to enable it is simply not thought of often enough. However, if the crowding of prison cells in the UK is, as the Justice Secretary suggests, to become more common, it is imperative that its significant negative effects are mitigated by careful consideration of the management of carceral space.

How do U.S. states’ use of the prison compare globally? New infographic from ‘Prison Policy Initiative’

Many thanks to Leah Sakala from Prison Policy Initiative for alerting me to their newest report. This report is the first to directly situate individual U.S. states’ incarceration practices in the global context.

The press release asks ‘how does your state compare to the international community when it comes to the use of incarceration?’ Not very well, says the new infographic and report by the Prison Policy Initiative and data artist Josh Begley.

This report, “States of Incarceration: The Global Context” recognizes that while there are important differences between how US states handle incarceration, incarceration policy in every region of the country is out of step with the rest of the world. The report and infographic draws international figures on incarceration from the International Centre for Prison Studies and state-level data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“It is essential to focus on the incarceration practices of individual states,” said Peter Wagner, Executive Director of the Prison Policy Initiative.  “Most criminal justice policy decisions are made at the state level and the vast majority of the people locked up are locked up for violating state laws,”

“Compared to Louisiana, most U.S. states appear to have reasonable rates of incarceration, but it is disturbing to see where these ‘reasonable’ states stack up in the broader carceral landscape,” said data-artist and co-author Josh Begley.

Reminder: Research and the Relations between Prison and Detention: ESRC Seminar 20th June 2014

8-2754esrc-logoBy bringing together a range of established academics, early-career academics, postgraduates, practitioners, artists, activists and former detainees this seminar series will investigate the ways in which the UK experience of detention reflects and re-produces the contradictory logics inherent in modern global detention practices. Through five one-day workshop events the seminar series will span the academic disciplines of criminology, geography, politics and sociology in order to examine the phenomenon of detention as it relates to supporting detainees, penology and prisons, everyday experiences of detention and the politics of, and resistance to, detention practices. The seminars, to be held in London, York, Birmingham, Oxford and Lancaster will also reflect upon the ethical/methodological challenges that the study of detention produces and the tension, running throughout work in this area, between outright resistance to detention practices or a reformist approach based on working with the state on behalf of immigration detainees.

The Birmingham seminar will focus on the challenges of research in spaces of imprisonment and detention.

ESRC Seminar Series: Exploring Everyday Practice and Resistance in Immigration Detention

Research and the Relations between Prison and Detention

University of Birmingham, UK, Friday 20th June 2014

10.00: Arrival and coffee

10.30: Welcome and opening comments

10.40: Can Yıldız (Kings College London) Spatiality and temporality in prison for foreign national prisoners

11.00: David Maguire (University of Oxford) Inside Job: Dilemmas, Exploits and Exploitation of a Prison ‘Insider’

Response: Marie Hutton (University of Birmingham)

12.00: Lunch

1.00 : Bénédicte Michalon and Djemila Zeneidi (CNRS – Université Bordeaux 3, France) Research in constrained contexts: methodological issues and challenges

2.15: Concluding comments

2.30: Tea

Attendance is free but places are limited. To attend please click here.

Prison Life: Inside and Out – Event at the University of Birmingham 19 March 2014

Arts and Science logoPrison Life: Inside and Out

This event, part of the University of Birmingham’s Arts & Science Festival 2014 showcases multi-disciplinary research exploring aspects of prison life – ranging from prison visitation and recidivism, pathways to imprisonment, the impact of imprisonment on prisoners’ families, and the difficulties prisoners face following release. 

Speakers include Louise Dixon (School of Psychology), Marie Hutton (School of Geography), Karen Graham (School of Education) and Garry Henry (practitioner). These speakers will be followed by an opportunity for questions and audience discussion. 

When: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Where: Law Building, Lecture Room 2 (R1 on the campus map)

Attendance is FREE, but please register by clicking here or by contacting Marie Hutton directly at m.a.hutton@bham.ac.uk

Carceral Geography at the AAG 2014: Historical Geographies of Prisons and Jails… and more

logo_aagKaren Morin and I have coorganised two themed sessions at the forthcoming Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers in April, in Tampa, FL, USA. Entitled “Historical Geographies of Prisons and Jails I & II”, the two sessions address the following brief:

What have historical geographers contributed to discussions of incarceration – what prison spaces, knowledges, and practices have caught our attention, and why? Following on last year’s AAG Historical Geography plenary, “Carceral Space and the Usable Past,” these sessions bring together the work of historical geographers, as well as those who use historical-geographical logics and perspectives, to examine conceptions of crime, regimes of punishment, and their corresponding spaces of “corrections” and confinement. Broadly, the sessions aim to incorporate a historical-spatial focus into the study of correctional institutions (prisons and jails) and their larger social contexts. Relevant treatments of prison/jail space include: 1) historical study of the nature of spaces of incarceration, individuals’ experiences in them, and their regulatory regimes and systems of punishment; 2) historical study of the spatial or distributional/ locational geographies of carceral systems, particularly with respect to their impact on community economic development and local geographies; and 3) study of the historical relationship between the carceral and an increasingly punitive state. Historical geographers can inform, and be informed by, these three areas of carceral geography that we like to term, after Tosh, “critical applied historical geography” that can be put in action for progressive social transformation.

The first session, scheduled for Wednesday, 4/9/2014, from 8:00 AM – 9:40 AM in Room 30B, TCC, Fourth Floor, lines up as follows:

8:00 AM   *Kimberley Peters and Jennifer Turner – Aberystwyth University Unlocking the Carceral Atmospheric: Extraordinary Encounters at the Prison Museum

8:20 AM   Susana Draper – Princeton University Cartographies of memory and the poetics of an architecture of the affects

8:40 AM   Katie Hemsworth – Queen’s University Sound(e)scapes: Historical geographies of sound in Canadian prisons

9:00 AM   Cheryl Nye – Georgia State University The Sacred and Profane: Re-building Familial and Social Relationships in the Confines of the Prison

9:20 AM   Dominique Moran – University of Birmingham (Discussant)

and the second, following immediately on at 10:00 AM – 11:40 AM in Room 30B, TCC, Fourth Floor, looks like this:

10:00 AM   *Jennifer Turner and Kimberley Peters – Aberystwyth University Shackled at Sea: Geographies of Mobility and Agency on the Convict Ship

10:20 AM    Jack Norton – CUNY Graduate Center  Little Siberia, Star of the North: The Political Economy of Prison Dreams in the Adirondacks

10:40 AM   Carol Medlicott – Northern Kentucky University  Prisoners in Zion: Shaker Sites as Foundations for Later Communities of Incarceration

11:00 AM   Treva C. Ellison – University of Southern California  The End(s) of Inclusion: The Impact of LGBT Activism and Advocacy on Sensitivity Policing and Gender and Sexuality Responsive Jailing, 1970 – 1997

11:20 AM   Anne Bonds – University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (Discussant)

Karen and I are excited about these sessions and about the dialogues we hope they will engender.

However, for carceral geographers there are many more papers of interest in Tampa. I’m also looking forward to Anthony Stanonis’ paper on Gated Communities: Tourism and Prisons in the American South, Alex R. Colucci’s The Geographies of Death Row: Capital Punishment and Living-Dead Labor within Capitalism, Timothy C. Kelleher on Optimality Modeling New Prison Siting, Richard Merritt and Scott Hurley’s Invisible Geographies: Violence and Oppression in the Prison-Industrial Complex and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, and Anne Bonds’  Enduring Incarceration: Gender, Racial Capitalism, and ‘Prison life’

And, from a grey Birmingham, here’s hoping for some Florida sunshine…

Reflections on the TerrFerme Colloque: Prisons, Paradoxes and Interpretation

The recent colloquium (16-19 October 2013) organised by the TerrFerme research group in Pessac, Bordeaux, was both a hugely enjoyable and convivial event, and a real eye-opener to the fascinating and important work going on outside of the English language.

As the responses to my and Karen Morin’s recent Call for Papers for the AAG conference in 2014 are showing, carceral geography is expanding its scope and articulating itself towards a variety of aspects of contemporary critical human geography; however, the monolingualism of many authors writing in English (and I include myself in this) means that we are probably insufficiently aware of the work going on in other languages – perhaps most notably in French.

Thanks to the consideration of Benedicte Michalon and her colleagues at TerrFerme, who designed a conference with simultaneous interpretation between French and English, and to the patience of the French speakers presenting their work at a pace that allowed the interpreters to work, the conference allowed a glimpse of the wealth of fascinating work being undertaken in the French language. I’m providing just a taste of some of that here, and hope that readers of this blog will follow up with the authors to find out more.

For me, one of the key words of the colloque, and one that thankfully needs no translation, was ‘paradox’. Time after time, presenters came back to this term to understand the often conflictual coexistence of different interpretations, practices, notions, in and around the space of the prison (broadly defined).

Sarah Curtis (Durham University) opened the conference by showing that not all English speakers are monolingual – by giving a lecture in French on her work on therapeutic landscape, risk and technical safety in secure hospitals in the UK. For her, the paradox was in the balancing of wellbeing and technical safety, when risk is controlled through designing-out danger in the physical environment (for example, by removing ligature points and attempting to create environments in which no physical harm can be done to onesself or to others). She reported health workers observing that identifying a patient’s progress was challenging when there was no opportunity for them to demonstrate that they could exist safely in a context of risk, and that controlled environments encouraged playful destruction when patients became bored.

Marie Morelle and Emmanuel Chauvin (University of Paris 1) spoke about the spatial distribution of persons in prisons and refugee camps in Chad and Cameroon, offering a rare comparison of these types of confinement, in a non-first world context. They drew attention to the informal arrangements which serve to keep order in both contexts, andthe interactions and ‘power games’ which shaped these spaces, in relation to local, national, international, state and non-state actors inside and outside the facilities.

Nathalie Bernardie-Tahir (University of Limoges) spoke about the confinement of migrants on the island of Malta, and focussed on the personalisation of space, and the importance of the historical legacy of migration to Malta for contemporary understandings of this geopolitical setting in restricting migrant mobility.

Lucie Bony (University of Paris 10) spoke from her PhD research into previous residential arrangements and the experience of carceral space on the part of prison inmates. She had some fascinating insights into the ways in which age and previous living arrangements intersected with life experience and particularly travel experience, to shape the interpretation and experience of incarceration in terms of the living environment of the prison. For some, the prison mimics the neighbourhood from which they come, and they feel ‘at home’ in this setting. For others, prison recalls experiences of travel – seeing new people and new places, and prisoners experience it almost as a piece of anthropological research. These and other perspectives lead prisoners to engage differently with their prison environment, personalising the space and feeling at home within it, or distinguishing strictly between inside and outside as a form of resistance or expression of autonomy.

Barbara Baudin (University of Grenoble, Marc Bloch Centre, Berlin) and Nicolas Fischer’s (University Versailles-St Quentin en Yvelines) work discussed the vagueness of the legal situation regarding immigrant detention in France, and specifically the fact that spaces of detention and of administrative confinement (of prisoners who had reached the end of their sentences, but who were deemed too dangerous to be released) existed in space before they existed in law. Drawing on the example of the scandal of d’Arenc, they talked through the codification of this space, and the paradox of the existence of the carceral architecture in space pre-dating the codification of these spaces in law.

Marine Bobin (University Toulouse Le Mirail) gave a fascinating presentation from her PhD work on jails in Navajo territory in the USA, and the idea of the “indigenous” prison. She traced the paradoxes of the co-location of a traditional Navajo ‘peacemaking’ centre in front of a new Navajo jail, detailed the individualisation of the Navajo jail (such as a sweat lodge, and coloured floor tiles which recall Native American patterns), and linked these issues to the fractures within the Navajo community between those who believe that the prison is antithetical to traditional Navajo justice, and those who see the jail as bringing some form of welcome ‘modernisation’ to the Navajo community.

Camille Boutron (IFEA Lima) presented on the political role of incarceration for female combatants in Peru (1980-2010), and spoke passionately about the paradoxes of imprisonment for women for whom both the domestic sphere, and participation in guerrilla forces, can be seen as forms of confinement. She described the prison as a bridge between these two confinement spaces, and as a space which has performed a strategic role in Peru’s armed conflict through the politicisation of female political prisoners.

In a final session on confinement and mobility, David Scheer (University Libre de Bruxelles) spoke about internal spatial flows in three prisons in Belgium – one old decrepit prison, a newer one built to the same design, and a planned prison in which prisoners will move around carrying electronic tags which monitor geolocation and enable particular doors to be opened depending on the level of autonomy and access afforded to each individual prisoner. Reading these spaces as disciplinary, David thought through the ways in which the three spaces enabled or restricted autonomy and created or contested the notion of the docile prisoner. Read David’s blog Entre Quatre Murs /Between Four Walls here.

Caroline Touraut (Centre Max Weber, Lyon) gave a compelling example of the proximity of mobility and liberty through her study of the experience of carceral space on the part of older prisoners, who as they age and become less physically mobile, not only encounter limited mobility within prison spaces ill-designed for their needs, but also face prejudice based on assumptions (rightly or wrongly) that they are sex offenders. She presented moving testimony from interviewees which brought vividly to life the marginalisation suffered by these inmates.

Fleur Guy (University of Lyon 2) presented from her PhD research into care homes for troubled young people in France, describing the paradox of distance from the temptation of the city, with the need to keep young people close to their communities, to aid their future integration. She drew on fieldwork which showed considerable empathy with young people as they devised spatial strategies to enter and leave the semi-closed spaces of the care homes, the dislocation they felt from their previous lives, and the disturbance which resulted from repetitive moves between facilities.

Although these thumbnail sketches represent less than half of the work presented in French in Pessac, they represent a flavour of the work which appears to be most relevant for carceral geographers at this moment. Over lunch with colleagues from TerrFerme, there were discussions about the possibilities of publishing in English in ways which would point up the findings of French language research – which would be very welcome indeed.