Since creating the Returns and Reintegration Fund in 2008, the British government has financed a variety of initiatives around the world under the rubric of “managing migration,” blurring the boundaries between migration control and punishment. This article documents and explores a series of overlapping case studies undertaken in Nigeria and Jamaica where the United Kingdom has funded prison building programs, mandatory prisoner transfer agreements, prison training programs, and resettlement assistance for deportees. These initiatives demonstrate in quite concrete ways a series of interconnections between criminal justice and migration control that are both novel and, in their postcolonial location, familiar. In their ties to international development and foreign policy, they also illuminate how humanitarianism allows penal power to move beyond the nation state, raising important questions about our understanding of punishment and its application.
Penal Humanitarianism? Sovereign Power in an Era of Mass Migration
Professor Mary Bosworth is Professor in Criminology, Fellow of St Cross College University of Oxford, and concurrently Professor of Criminology, Monash University, Australia. Research interests include: immigration detention, punishment, race, gender and citizenship. She is author of Engendering Resistance: Agency and Power in Women’s Prisons (1999, Ashgate); The US Federal Prison System (2002, Sage); Race, Gender and Punishment: From Colonialism to the War on Terror (2007, Rutgers University Press) co-edited with Jeanne Flavin; Explaining US Imprisonment (2009, Sage); What is Criminology? (2010, OUP), co-edited with Carolyn Hoyle; The Borders of Punishment (2013, OUP), co-edited with Katja Aas; Inside Immigration Detention (2014, OUP); and The Changing Contours of Criminal Justice co-edited with Carolyn Hoyle and Lucia Zedner (2016, OUP); in addition to numerous journal articles and book chapters on prisons, punishment, race, gender, and qualitative research methods. Mary is currently heading a five-year ERC Starter Grant on the intersections between criminology and border control, as well as a three-year Leverhulme International Network on External Border Control. In Oxford she is Assistant Director of the Centre for Criminology and Director of the Border Criminologies Research Group. Mary is U.K. Editor-in-Chief of Theoretical Criminology, a co-editor of Routledge Studies in Criminal Justice, Borders and Citizenship, and a member of the editorial boards of Race & Justice, the International Journal of Migration and Border Studies, and Clarendon Studies in Criminology at Oxford University Press.
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Mary Bosworth; Penal Humanitarianism? Sovereign Power in an Era of Mass Migration. New Criminal Law Review 1 February 2017; 20 (1): 39–65. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/nclr.2017.20.1.39
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