Prison Breaks

Toward a Sociology of Escape

  • Tomas Max Martin
  • Gilles Chantraine

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Gilles Chantraine, Tomas Max Martin
    Pages 1-29
  3. Resistance and Everyday Life

  4. Politics and Transition

  5. Law and Bureaucracy

  6. Escape Imaginaries and Popular Culture

  7. Lorna A. Rhodes
    Pages 337-344
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 345-351

About this book


This edited collection analyses the prison through the most fundamental challenge it faces: escapes. The chapters comprise original research from established prison scholars who develop the contours of a sociology of prison escapes. Drawing on firm empirical evidence from places like India, Tunisia, Canada, the UK, France, Uganda, Italy, Sierra Leone, and Mexico, the authors show how escapes not only break the prison, but are also fundamental to the existence of such institutions: how they are imagined, designed, organized, justified, reproduced and transformed. The chapters are organised in four interconnected themes: resistance and everyday life; politics and transition; imaginaries and popular culture; and law and bureaucracy, which reflect how escapes are productive, local, historical, and equivocal social practices, and integral to the mysterious intransigence of the prison. The result is a critical and theoretically informed understanding of prison escapes – which has so far been absent in prison scholarship – and which will hold broad appeal to academics and students of prisons and penology, as well as practitioners.  


escape prison architecture prison order resistance state control penality rights violence politics Humanity Humiliation Bureaucracy Law Runaways popular culture

Editors and affiliations

  • Tomas Max Martin
    • 1
  • Gilles Chantraine
    • 2
  1. 1.DIGNITY—Danish institute Against TortureCopenhagen ØDenmark
  2. 2.Centre Lillois d’Etudes et de Recherches Sociologiques et EconomiquesCNRS / Université de LilleVilleneuve d’AscqFrance

Bibliographic information