Disavowing ‘the’ Prison

  • Sarah ArmstrongEmail author
  • Andrew M. Jefferson
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)


This chapter confronts the idea of ‘the’ prison, that is, prison as a fixed entity. However hard we, that is, prison scholars including ourselves, seek to deconstruct and critique specific aspects of confinement, there is a tendency to slip into a default position that envisions the prison as something given and pre-understood. When it comes to prison our imagination seems to clog up. It is the political solution to its own failure, and the preferred metaphor for its own representation.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice ResearchUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowScotland
  2. 2.DIGNITY – Danish Institute Against TortureBorgergadeDenmark

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