As unprecedented levels of human mobility continue to define our era, criminal justice institutions in countries around the world are increasingly shaped by mass migration and its control. This collection brings together legal scholars from Europe and the United States to consider the implications of the attendant changes on the exercise of state penal power and those subject to it. The contributions in this special issue are united by a shared set of questions about the salience of citizenship for contemporary criminal justice policies and practices. They are specifically concerned with questions of fair and equal treatment, the changing configurations of state sovereignty, and the significance of migration on criminal justice policies and practices. Collectively, the articles show how, in grappling with mass mobility and diversity, states are devising novel forms of control, many of which erode basic criminal justice principles and reinforce existing social hierarchies.
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.