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Architectures of incarceration: The spatial pains of imprisonment

Hancock, P and Jewkes, Y (2011) 'Architectures of incarceration: The spatial pains of imprisonment.' Punishment and Society, 13 (5). 611 - 629. ISSN 1462-4745

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This article considers the contribution that physical environment makes to the pains of imprisonment. Synthesizing concepts and theories from critical organization studies with those that have informed criminological studies of prison design and the lived experience of imprisonment, the article discusses the ways in which the architecture and aesthetics of penal environments might be better understood with reference to the restricted economies of space found in industrial and bureaucratic organizations. It is argued that a grasp of the limits historically placed on the subjective growth of individual workers (workspaces frequently being characterized as 'iron cages' or 'psychic prisons') can enhance our understanding of the physical and psychological confinement of those in custody. Moreover, critical organization studies can inform emerging debates about what future prisons should look like and alert us to the potential fallacy in assuming that 'modern' equates to 'better'. While clean, humane and safe environments are unquestionably desirable for both prisoners and prison staff, and considerations such as natural daylight, access to outside space and aesthetic stimuli are increasingly being incorporated into penal environments around the world, this article will critically interrogate the value of such initiatives arguing that they may, in fact, represent a new and potentially more insidious form of control that bring their own distinctive 'pains'. © The Author(s) 2011.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Depositing User: Clare Chatfield
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2014 09:23
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 16:22

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