What Is Incarceration?

Is it surprising that the cellular prison, with its regular chronologies, forced labour, its authorities of surveillance and registration, its experts in normality, who continue and multiply the functions of the judge, should have become the modern instrument of penality? Is it surprising that prisons resemble factories, schools, barracks, hospitals, which all resemble prisons?

- Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish

Podcast of the Day

Myisha Cherry chats with philosopher Lori Gruen about carceral spaces, teaching philosophy in prisons, the animal, prisoner, and blacks analogy, are animal rights for white people, and much more.

Listen to Lori Gruen on Prisons

Video of the Day

Short Article of the Day

Is the purpose of incarceration to punish wrongdoing, or to protect society from dangerous individuals? Is it to make an example of criminals to deter others, or to reform those who stray beyond the bounds of acceptable behaviour? There are arguments for each of these approaches to incarceration, and they often stand in conflict with one another.

Currently, sentencing policy in Australia reflects an apparently arbitrary mixture of all four approaches. The result is that incarceration is often ineffective and even counter-productive...

Continue reading Snow & Gilliam's article: What are prisons for? Answering that is the starting point for reform

Further Reading

A prison, also known as a correctional facility, jail, gaol (dated, British English), penitentiary (American English), detention center (American English) or remand center is a facility in which inmates are forcibly confined and denied a variety of freedoms under the authority of the state. Prisons are most commonly used within a criminal justice system: people charged with crimes may be imprisoned until they are brought to trial; those pleading or being found guilty of crimes at trial may be sentenced to a specified period of imprisonment. Besides their use for punishing crimes, jails and prisons are frequently used by authoritarian regimes against perceived opponents...

Continue reading the Wikipedia article on Prison

Related Topics

If you’re interested in incarceration and prisons, check out some of the following topics for more related resources:

 Authority | Freedom | Human Rights | Justice | Political Philosophy | Power | Sociology

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