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Re-‘homing’ the ex-offender : constructing a ‘prisoner dyspora'

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journal contribution
posted on 01.10.2014, 10:22 by Jennifer Elizabeth Turner
Recent work within and beyond the geography discipline has come to understand that where might be imagined a sharp boundary between the ‘hidden’ inside and outside of prisons, there is in fact a myriad of materials that cleave and bind penal geographies that mark the prison wall as a site of transaction and exchange. Recidivism in the UK is of serious concern, rendering the ‘prisoner’ a participant of a very unique and dynamic type of border exchange. In light of this, this paper questions how this impacts prisoners' identities and attachments to ‘home’. Although ex-offenders may idealise a return to the communities where they lived prior to incarceration, the ability to re-integrate is often limited. This may be attributed to the transformations that individuals undergo while spending time in prison, such as the possession of a criminal record. In grounding this discussion in the case of a company that employs ‘ex-offenders’, I examine the implications of belonging to such a group of ‘conventional employees’ and ‘those with criminal records’; revealing tensions that complicate matters of belonging. This paper therefore posits the prison as a kind of ‘homeland’ that continues to significantly shape one's identity following their out-migration. Those leaving prison find themselves unable to display conventional attachments to the outside society, while performing a dystopian relationship with the prison homeland, allowing for a consideration of what I have termed the ‘prisoner dyspora’.

History

Citation

Area, 2013, 45 (4), pp. 485-492

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE/Department of Criminology

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Area

Publisher

Wiley for Royal Geographical Society (with Institute of British Geographers)

issn

0004-0894

eissn

1475-4762

Copyright date

2013

Available date

23/09/2015

Publisher version

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/area.12053/abstract;jsessionid=31BBEFE19593F4B3FEA31C36C89BA767.f02t01

Notes

The file associated with this record is embargoed until 24 months after the date of publication. The final published version may be available through the links above.

Language

en

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