The Violence of Incarceration  book cover
1st Edition

The Violence of Incarceration

ISBN 9780415963138
Published August 1, 2008 by Routledge
282 Pages

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Book Description

Conceived in the immediate aftermath of the humiliations and killings of prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq, of the suicides and hunger strikes at Guantanamo Bay and of the disappearances of detainees through extraordinary rendition, this book explores the connections between these shameful events and the inhumanity and degradation of domestic prisons within the 'allied' states, including the USA, Canada, Australia, the UK and Ireland.

The central theme is that the revelations of extreme brutality perpetrated by allied soldiers represent the inevitable end-product of domestic incarceration predicated on the use of extreme violence including lethal force. Exposing as fiction the claim to the political moral high ground made by western liberal democracies is critical because such claims animate and legitimate global actions such as the 'war on terror' and the indefinite detention of tens of thousands of people by the United States which accompanies it. The myth of moral virtue works to hide, silence, minimize and deny the brutal continuing history of violence and incarceration both within western countries and undertaken on behalf of western states beyond their national borders.

Table of Contents

1. The Violence of Incarceration: An Introduction Jude McCulloch and Phil Scraton  2. An Afternoon in September 1983 Laurence McKeown  3. Entombing Resistance: Institutional Power and Polarisation in the Jika Jika High-Security Unit Bree Carlton  4. Protests and ‘Riots’ in the Violent Institution Phil Scraton  5. Child Incarceration: Institutional Abuse, the Violent State and the Politics of Impunity Barry Goldson  6. Naked Power: Strip-Searching in Women’s Prisons Jude McCulloch and Amanda George  7. The Imprisonment of Women and Girls in the North of Ireland: A ‘Continuum of Violence’ Linda Moore and Phil Scraton  8. Neither Kind Nor Gentle: The Perils of ‘Gender Responsive Justice' Cassandra Shaylor  9. The US Military Prison: The Normalcy of Exceptional Brutality Avery F. Gordon  10. A Reign of Penal Terror: US Global Statecraft and the Technology of Punishment and Capture Dylan Rodríguez  11. Indigenous Incarceration: The Violence of Colonial Law and Justice Chris Cunneen  12. The Violence of Refugee Incarceration Jude McCulloch and Sharon Pickering  13. Preventing Torture and Casual Cruelty in Prisons through Independent Monitoring Diana Medlicott

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Phil Scraton is Professor of Criminology in the Institute of Criminology and criminal Justice, Queen’s University, Belfast. His research and publications include deaths in custody, prison protests, state authoritarianism and criminalization and children’s rights. His most recent books are Hillsborough: The Truth (Mainstream), Beyond September 11(Pluto) and Power, Conflict and Criminalisation (Routledge)

Jude McCulloch is Associate Professor in Criminology at Monash University, Australia. Her research interrogates institutionalised state violence. She has published extensively on deaths in custody, police violence, police shootings and paramilitary policing. Her recent work focuses on state crime in the 'war on terror'. She is the author of Blue Army: Paramilitary Policing in Australia (Melbourne University Press).


"A powerful and scholarly analysis of the modern penal context which locates the horrors of Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and Bagram Air Base firmly within a long western tradition of penal violence. Essential reading." - Professor Penny Green, Director, Law School Research Centre, University of Westminster