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Modern democratic states often rely on practices of detention and incarceration to demonstrate the power of the rule of law and social control. As a result, security and detention spaces like refugee camps, migrant detention islands, jails and for-profit prisons, war prisons, border checkpoints, and protest camps are no longer the only places where we see security practices and systems. The concepts and practices developed in these spaces are now utilised in an ever-expanding number of spatial, legal, and political contexts.
Through diverse means, including contemporary surveillance technologies, we see the securitization of people in the health care system, public private partnerships, urban spaces generally, in rural areas, at mega events (e.g., Olympics), and more. In this course we will explore how prison rationales have moved into other spheres and engage in a detailed historical and theoretical investigation of the complex and often-contradictory processes that produce them. This course builds on and compliments much of the introductory criminology theories but extends our understanding of crime and security in contemporary contexts.
In the Irish context, prisons were for many years underused forms of punishment while other forms of coercive confinement such as Magdalen Laundries, Mother and Baby Homes, Industrial Schools and County Homes confined tens of thousands of people. This historical context sets the scene for understanding how we negotiate state power in the contemporary context. Despite the reduction and/or demise of some of these institutions in the intervening years, newer developments in punishment and social control have emerged in contemporary societies which are enabled through modern advancements in technologies of punishment and surveillance.
Any aspect of this module may be changed in any given academic year, subject to the discretion of the module lecturer.
Note: students should not register for this module if they previously successfully completed LW274 (Beyond the prison: Norms, practices and systems of control in contemporary society).