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CRM2306 (86)

Prison, Community & The Deprivation of Liberty

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Justin Piche

Lecture 2: The Birth of Modern Prison and the Role of State Punishment Rusche Contribution:  George Rusche was first to try and place crime in a SOCIAL context. In his work he tried to look at why certain punishment practices emerged in particular circumstances. His theory is when we change penal practices, it is partially explained by an economic structure, the labour patterns in given societies.  Guiding Premise: To understand shifts in penalty we must look beyond the causes of ‘crime’ and situate punishment practices within the social contexts in which they emerge. The development of legal institutions is a history and relationship between the rich and the poor people in society.  Research Question: How do changes in the economic structures of given society impact penal sanctions?  Theory (Rusche) o 1. In contexts of labour surpluses (a lot of unemployed people) and related societal unrest, penal sanctions are devised according to the principle of less eligibility (conditions inside prisons are worse that the living conditions in society) as a means of deterrence.  Unemployed masses tend to commit crimes of desperation because of hunger and deprivation, and they will only be stopped from doing so by cruel penalties. In this given context, the fact of being given food in prison would make prison an enticement, not a deterrent. Therefore, where there is much unemployment, capital punishment is the best method. o 2. In contexts of labour shortages (not enough skilled workers to fill the jobs) and increased living standards, penal sanctions are devised to be ‘humane’ and generate wealth to deflate general living standards  If everybody who wants to work can find a job, then the lowest class is made up of unskilled workers, not unemployed people; therefore the reason for crime is no longer hunger or desperation. The punishment then is required to make the unwilling worker work and to teach other criminals that they have to live with the income that they have. Here the best punishment would be to make the criminals work for their food. Here capital punishment is not favored because where the criminals labor is valuable, exploitation is preferred. Early middle Ages:  Population: small, people had their peace and the means to produce food and shelter for themselves.  Labour: Subsistence economy  Wealth Distribution: Relatively even with access to land. Social pressure on the lower classes was hindered due to the fact that people had the possibility of settling on free land and this led to a relatively even distribution of society’s wealth.  Frequency of Crime: Infrequent, and crimes against property were very rare, because a farmer would rarely take things from his neighbor which he could produce himself at a lesser cost. What led to crime were the primitive stirrings of sexuality and hatred.  Types of crime: violent, and between families, it was hate driven and sexual  Crime Control Objectives: Reconciliation and feud prevention (come to some kind of agreement). The real deterrent was fear of private revenge by the injured party.  Crime Control Strategies: penance and fines. Crime was seen, as a form of war and the goal of legislators was the reconciliation of the enemies by recognized principles. Late middle Ages:  Population: growth and concentration. Those on the land have settled that land, though the population is growing and those people have nowhere to go, no land. No land, meant no access to shelter or food. Emergence of a chasm, those who were really rich and those who are really poor.  Wealth Distribution: disparate (rich and poor) with property in demand and inaccessible to many. Due to the scarcity of land, separation of classes into rich and poor began.  Frequency of crime: increasing  Types of crime: unrest and property, beggars, thieves to access goods they did not posses.  Crime control objectives: deterrence, those in power decided they had to come up with something to deter the poor from stealing. Fines were not longer seen as useful as those committing the crimes had no money to begin with.  Crime control strategies: corporal and capital punishment, reasons for this type is because the poor have nothing else to lose, so punishment made sense. You can’t fine people who can’t pay Emergence of Mercantilism:  Mercantilism: governments start to control trade. See the formation of nation states  Person and property rights are important and the establishment of the ‘rule of law’ created by a property owning class (bourgeoisie)  Population: Declines, there has been war, plagues, many people have died and many people are leaving Europe to colonize other territories  Wealth distribution: Increase in living standards, employers would have no one to work for them so they had to give raises to those who asked so they would not leave. People become valuable as a shortage of workers occurred, therefore, those working were valuable and the workers wages rose and the standard for the lowest class improved.  Frequency of crime: stable  Types of crime: unrest Crime control objectives: profit under the guise of ‘humanitarianism’ and confinement to prison takes over capital punishment  Crime control strategies: Prison as a workhouse, conditions in prison was good so they would have the energy to work and it was more profitable for the prisons. Emergence of Capitalism:  Capitalism: industrialization, factories, mass production.  Prisons were not longer profitable, because workers voluntarily offered their labor for minimum existence; it was no longer worth coming up with the cost of confinement and supervision.  Population: Increasing, people are moving from country to urban centers  Labour: surplus  Wealth distribution: decrease in living standards and employment scarcity, more unemployed people since factories require less people to work them. Much disease in this time.  Frequency of crime: increasing, people are rebelling due to poor living conditions  Types of crime: unrest  Crime control objectives: deterrence, however forced labor was brought upon the prisoners and penitentiaries became a place of pure torture.  Crime control strategies: prison as warehouse of less eligibility, solitary confinement, regimes of silence. Prisoners were not sufficiently clothed and were cramped together. Work was unprofitable, so it served as torture. Prison routines were reinforced by the deterrent effect of beatings. Foucault Away From Public Spectacles, Towards Concealment  Object of Punishment used to be the body o Basis of perception: experience, they saw the punishment o Effectiveness: intensity o Source of deterrence: cruelty o Blameworthiness: author of the act and the author of punishment, public would see not only what the criminal did, but also seeing what the state can do as punishment o Visibility: spectacle o Objective: punishment o The body as the major target of penal repression disappeared  Object of punishment moved to the soul o Basis of perception: consciousness, we imagine what punishment looks like. Punishment had ceased to be a spectacle; punishment will then tend to become the most hidden part of the penal process. As a result of this, justice no longer takes public responsibility for the violence that is bound up with its practice. We then imprison in order to deprive the individual of a liberty that is regarded as both as a right and as property. o Effectiveness: Inevitability o Source of deterrence: certainty o Blameworthiness: author of the act, it is the conviction itself that marks the offender with unequivocally negative sign. o Visibility: secrecy. As a result of this, justice no longer takes public responsibility for the violence that is bound up with its practice. o Objective: normalization, goal is to bring person who deviates back into the norm (law-abiding citizen) Away from the Body, Towards the Soul:  Means of punishment used to be the public spectacle o Role of the body: site of punishment o Role of physical pain: punishment and/or elimination o Role of the deprivation of liberty: confinement while awaiting punishment o Role of professionals: infliction of pain  Means of punishment moved towards the prison o It was an instrument of normalization and correction  Power is exercised rather than possessed, it is not the privilege of the dominant class, but the overall effect of its strategic position. Power produces knowledge. Power and knowledge directly imply one another.  The soul is the effect and instrument of a political anatomy, the soul is the prison of the body Lecture 3: Giving a Purpose to Imprisonment Beyond Punishment Beattie Construction of ‘Crime’ in Upper Canada:  Frequency of Crime: Scarce, very few men and women were convicted of the serious offences like rape and murder, or robbery and burglary.  Types of crime: property offences  Basis of concern: symptom of immorality, social instability and lack of respect  Explaining crime: individual inadequacies such as lack of education, moral instruction, discipline and character and vice. Thought property crimes revealed other problems, such as people were not working enough, and people were drinking too much, families were not cohesive. Concerned that if they did not address criminality, it would spread like a disease and society would be out of control. One of the most obvious routes from drinking to crime was economic as it cost so much and was so debilitating that it could drive men to steal in order to support themselves and their families. Said that crime was because people lacked education, they lacked morals (thought did no go to church) and did not learn how to live life by the clock. Men fell into crime because they had not learned the personal and social discipline that religion imparted and had not learned to curb their baser instincts. Therefore, education was society’s best defence against crime not capital punishment.  Source of Knowledge: news articles and political debates  Laws were created to protect private property as the accumulation of wealth was becoming increasingly important. Concerns for moral reform also inevitably shaped into criminal law and the punishment of crime. The reform of the criminal became key to the future stability of the society  A decline in crime was welcome as evidence that reform was working, and increase served notice that sterner measured were needed. Mechanism for Restoring ‘Order’ and Moral Reformation  Temperance: prohibit alcohol  Sabbatarianism: instituting a day of religion (Sunday)  Juvenile Schools: youth who commit crimes and need to be educated (nowadays called boarding school)  Popular Education: education such as elementary, high school, teach future generations of workers and teach morals and habits to working classes (living a structured day)  Capital punishment: in upper Canada there were over 200 crimes you could be killed for by the state The Emergence of the Prison as an Alternative Punishment in Canada:  Imprisonment came to seem ideally suited to perform this double task of punishing and reforming, especially imprisonment that involved both work and religious instruction.  Decline in Legal Legitimacy: o Selective administration of sentences  Due to many people being killed, the public did not see it as a legitimate form of punishment as it was happening so frequently o Reluctance to prosecute and convict  Prosecutors stopped prosecuting those who committed petty crime because they did not want to see them die o Capital punishment seen as immoral and / or ineffective  It was immoral, how does one wrong and another wrong make a right it was prohibited in Christianity. From legislator’s pov it was not seen as something that was effective, it did not deter people, so they began to look at other forms of punishment.  Capital punishment was removed from a large number of pretty crimes as it had been in England six years earlier. The alternative punishment that made these changes possible was imprisonment and hard labour in the penitentiary.  Emerging Legal Culture o Proportionality: 2 people who commit the same act receive the same punishment; punishment is somewhat proportional to the harm that they caused. o Reformation: Idea that we could actually reform people, change people using different disciplines such as psychiatry.  Penal Reform in England o Prison envisaged as a site of punishment and reformation through schooling, work, moral influence, and discipline o John Howard: was visiting prisons at that time (a place where they awaited their punishment), proposed if we cleaned them up, and removed the vices (alcohol) and institute work and schooling, religious training, we could actually train them into become law abiding citizens  New prisons emerge and it was not only about punishment but also about reform. Said that the places were too small, so they started touring prisons in the US and visited 2 types of prisons (1) Pennsylvania system and (2) auburn system  Pennsylvania System: o Objectives: punishment and reform o Basis for reformation: solitude and reflection o Confinement: isolation at all times o School, religious activities, work was all done alone. Idea was that spending time by yourself, you would think about what you’ve done, and have done so much reflecting you would come out a better person  Auburn System: o Objectives: Punishment and reform o Basis for reformation: development of industrious work habits o Confinement: communal work in silence during the day and separate cells at night o Were not alone all the time, would do work in groups (e.g. break rocks), however you had to do it in silence or would receive corporal punishment. At night is when you would reflect on your own.  Kingston used the Auburn System. Pennsylvania system was too new, and thought that some of the prisoners looked too crazy. Thought that Auburn labour system was more profitable, they wanted the institution to sustain itself (self-sufficient). Sends a message not only about deterrence but also that they wanted people to change o It was the idea that prison should be reformative, and institution that would combat the moral failing that led men into crime and sends them back into the world as new men. o It was agreed that life in an institution must always be less eligible than the life of the honest laborer. o The warden was required to enquire into every convict’s circumstances and character, into their education, work experience and skills, their religion, their parents, their own drinking, in order to discover the particular source and nature of the moral weakness that had brought them into the penitentiary. o Routine: the prisoners were kept constantly employed at hard labor during the daytime and kept singly in a cell at night. They were not allowed to speak to or in any way communicate with each other. The point of this was to impose regularity of labor and good work habits to the men who had been lazy and committed a crime. Keepers would enforce these rules by using punishment with discretion upon the convicts.  Relationship between staff and prisoners: o It would cause a hierarchy between the prisoners and the staff. The staff would feel superior to the prisoners and may use excessive force when the prisoners break the rules, so more force than necessary. Things had gotten so bad, that the media (newspapers), were saying that there were a lot of messed up things happening in Kingston. Stories of kids getting corporal punishment. The public took issue with that, and due to that, a commission was put into place (Brown Commission) to investigate what was going wrong. o Prisoners: prevent from social interaction (can see people but cannot speak to them), needs are unaccounted for, does hard labour reform people, breed a sense of resentment o Staff: If rules are difficult to follow, it will create a violent environment. Creates and us and them situation and requires them to dehumanize the prisoners in order to be able to treat them that way o It was widely believed that the brutal punishments on the prisoners contributed to the rise of crime as it hardened the men’s hearts and increased their desire for revenge. Jackson New Objectives, Familiar Outcomes:  A sentence is designed to send a message both to the person upon whom it is imposed and to the rest of us, in whose name and at whose expense it is invoked.  The abuse of power taking place within prison walls has the tendency to make prisoners more dangerous and more anti-social. The persistent recidivist statistic can be related to the fact that so many in prisons have been irreversibly damaged nu the system by the time they reach the final point, the penitentiary. It makes violent inmates more violent, and non-violent inmates violent.  Imprisonment as a response to crime, is itself criminogenic, it actually produces and reproduces the very behavior it seeks to control  Brown Commission Report o Crisis: abuse and corruption, failure to reform, and an increase in crime  More people were going to prison, so deterrence wasn’t working, and there was a lot of recidivism, so reform was not working. Decided to look at the Pennsylvania system and implemented solitary confinement for 6 months o Main recommendations: solitary confinement for 6 months, corporal punishment as last resort, segregation of juveniles (this was to avoid their ‘contamination), and education. Wanted to institute some type of education regime, because those coming into prison seemed to lack basic skills such as writing and reading so they wanted to teach them how. Move away from punishment being a spectacle, and done in a more private way. o It is important to treat every inmate equally and fairly, both to re-establish the moral legitimacy of punishment and to allow the penitentiary experience to have a reformative effect  Archambault Commission Report o Crisis: failure to reform came to the conclusion that prisons fail to reform people. Criminological research emerges within the prisons o Main recommendations: rehabilitation, humane discipline, and classification system. To rehabilitate people you need to give them leisure time in order to be ‘normal’ human beings. Provide education, put more teachers inside prisons. Restrict the use of corporal punishment, more than what Brown suggested. Must distinguish between frequent and first time, youthful prisoners.  Macguigan Report o Crisis: recidivism and crime school, prisoners are starting to resist the system, riots in prisons emerged o Main recommendations: community-based alternatives, personal reformation in prison. It is the prisoners responsibility to reform themselves (normalization)  Arbour Commission Report o Crisis: abuse (esp. against women) and terror o Main recommendations: women-centered and culturally appropriate ‘corrections’. Many of the women found abused were the aboriginal women, so it was suggested that aboriginal prisons should be built.  There is a pattern, there are shifts in language, from rehabilitation, to reformation to risk, but many of the practices stay the same. Lecture 4: Garfinkel:  Post WWII era human rights become a concern, treating people with dignity becomes a social concern, and the belief that people can change becomes prominent, especially in prison discourse.  Archambault advised we should rehabilitate by the use of institutions, brining in professionals, adding leisure, was the idea we should make prison life as similar to regular life as possible if we want them to come out ‘normal’. Moving into a period where the deprivation of liberty is seen as enough of a punishment, we send them there AS punishment not for punishment.  How we identify ourselves, is based on how we think others perceive us (looking glass self). Degradation ceremonies are about the destruction of your identity. Degradation ceremonies: have someone with a behaviour we don’t like, we try and destroy that identity/behaviour  Criminalization as a degradation ceremony: o If anything that we do is perceived as outside of the norm, there could be degradation ceremonies to shame people. o If one of the things we do is in conflict with the law, there is a degradation ceremony that is the penal process, we call it crime, and you become a criminal. Inside the system, in prison you are a criminal you are a number.  Conditions of a successful degradation ceremony: o 1. Characterizing the event and perpetrator as ‘abnormal’, we say that this goes against our common values/norms o 2. Contrasting to ‘normal’ events and individuals, telling the person ‘‘this is you, you are messed up and need to fix you, here are the other people, you need to be like them’’ o 3. Expertise of denouncer and her or his shared characteristics with witnesses is reinforced. The judge who decides whether person is guilt or not guilty, that person has to be seen as one of the people, that they share something in common, one of us. o 4. Denunciation occurs on the basis of common values and is perceived to be done on behalf of witnesses. Whatever the denouncer does, is meant to reflect the values of everyone else. Idea that if we were in that seat we would make the same decision, the judge represents all of us. o 5. Denouncer is given authority to speak on behalf of witnesses and represent their values. Denouncer has to be perceived as having authority, that can denounce (label someone as criminal) o 6. The denouncer is seen by the witnesses as supporting their values, when the denouncer is making the decision, doing it for the greater good and this is why the denouncer is doing it. o 7. Social distance needs to be created between the denouncer and the denounced + witnesses. The denouncer still needs to be a part from us because he is seen as being able to degrade anyone of us if we fall out that norm. o 8. The denounced person is segregated from society, the criminal, we find a way to remove that person from normal free everyday existence Clemmer:  First prison sociologist, where he is looking at the social dynamics of the prison and prison community. Concerned at looking how the process of being punished inside the prison can be harmful to the person’s reformation in prison.  Assimilation: o Group Characteristics of those being acculturated: different, it tries to define people can acquire a new culture (e.g. Residential schools was put in place to strip Aboriginals of their culture, and so they could view the world in a European way) o Process Characteristic: gradual and unconscious, and you do not even notice. Proposes that there are two different groups, and that one group is trying to assimilate another group. o Process Outcome: the assimilated come to share the sentiments, memories, and traditions of the static group  Prisonization: o Group Characteristics of those being acculturated: Similar, the people there already share common characteristics (breaking law). However the new people coming in do no know some of the language and how things work in prison. o Process Characteristics: Rapid, conscious, It is a conscious process, because it can be dangerous, you WANT to fit in because it means being alive or dead. o Process Outcome: the taking on in greater or lesser degree of the folkways, customs, and general culture of the penitentiary  Prisonization as a Social Process: o 1. Forced anonymization and subordination: When in prison, you go from having a name, to becoming anonymous, you get a prison number (identity erased), in some jurisdictions your given same cloths (style is erased). And process early on let you know you are not at the top of the hierarchy, they let you know that you are at the bottom o 2. Development of new habits: need habits to fit in o 3. Institutional language acquisition: take on the language of the institution to understand what people mean, and try to understand what is going on. o 4. Development of an attitude of entitlement: Development depends to the prison staff such as food etc. o 5. Aspirations for good prison work: When they “wise up” they find work to busy themselves, but also to better your prison life (e.g. working in kitchen so you can have more food)  How does prisonization undermine the pursuit of rehabilitation in prison and what are the social consequences: o Actions are being transformed but not necessarily in the way that we want them to. o Put people together who are criminalized, but expect to affect positive o Prisoners get accustomed to the routine, to having certain things given to them (always having food)  Determinants of Prisonization: o Sentence length: the longer someone is in the prison community, the longer they are to be prisonized o Personality: if person has unpredictable behaviour, more likely to be prisonized. o Relationships Outside Prison: less likely, has more community connection (family etc). Someone with less is more likely to attach themselves to prison culture o Integration with Prisonized Groups: if they can get along with lots of people, they can be more prisonized. If someone is less sociable and is less adaptive, less likely. o View of Prisoner Subculture: Skeptical asks lots of questions about how your supposed to act, less to be prisonized, than someone who is accepting of the culture. o Cell and work Placements: if they are around many people of the subculture, more likely to be prisonized. o Behaviour in Relation to Societal Norms: how does that person act in various situations? Sykes:  Important contribution is that he is pointing to the number of ways incarceration is inflicting various harms. Shows some of the ways prison undermines its own objectives, how it does no contribute to rehabilitation but to dehabilitation  The modern pains of imprisonment are often defined by society as a humane alternative to the physical brutality and the neglect which constituted the major meaning of imprisonment in the past  Pains of Imprisonment: o Liberty: Rejection from society, separation from loved ones, loss of civil rights. Rejection from society amplifies the effect of rejection. This is the most obvious loss that comes with imprisonment o Goods and Services: Lack of access to amenities, separation from possessions that define one’s identity, stigmatization of poverty. We own certain things that we treasure and value, and if we lose it, it makes us uncomfortable (sad). When you loose your possessions, you develop a sense that you are poor, we live in a materialistic society, so if you have all of your objects taken away you are ‘poor’ and that can cause ‘pains’. o Heterosexual Relationships: Lack of desired sexual relationships, sexual victimization, sexual confusion as it relates to one’s identity o Autonomy: Institutionalized dependency, lack of self-determination, lack of transparency regarding institutional decisions, humiliation. Can make you feel like a child (being told what to do). Being called a number instead of your name is degrading and affects your identity and autonomy. o Security: Threat of violence, behavioral instability. Find yourself in situations were you need to engage in violence in order to survive, which is the opposite of rehabilitation. People feel unsafe, so the inmates become hyper vigilant. Lack of trust among inmates, this can have serious psychological effects on people; you may not sleep as well.  Modes of Adaptation: o Physical Withdrawal o Psychological Withdrawal: trying to take your mind and placing yourself somewhere else. For example, many prisoners have claimed that writing and doing art takes them away from their immediate situation of being imprisoned. o Rebellion / Innovation: rioting (they give it to the staff like they receive it) o Persuasion: done so in a manner that tries to improve your personal situation you are in. o Becoming ‘Collectivistic’: becoming part of that prison culture, trying to ally yourself with certain people so you can get the things you are deprived of (e.g. drugs). o Becoming ‘Individualistic’: do your own time, do the time by yourself and try to just get by and ignore everything else, or do things that only advance your interest. Lecture: 5 Goffman:  Total Institution Defined: Their encompassing or total character is symbolized by the barrier to social intercourse with the outside that is often built right into the physical plant, such as locked doors, high walls, barbed wire, cliffs, water, forests, or moors. In total institutions people cannot simply walk out, they are confined to them.  Characteristics of a total institution: o 1. All activities take place in one location under one authority o 2. All activities take place in groups where members are treated similarly. There is a division between people and authority (staff) o 3. All activities are imposed and take place according to a strict schedule, everything from waking up, going to bed, eating, work is all according a strict schedule o 4. All activities are enforced to meet stated institutional objectives. E.g. rehabilitation may be an objective; therefore all the activities are suppose to be engaged towards those objectives.  Mortification Process: How our identities change within a particular institutional context. When you enter a total institution, it disrupts your personality (it gets mortified). o Role Dispossession: in our daily lives we take on different roles, however imprisonment prevents you from acting out these different roles. o Programming / trimming: you turn into an object, an object to be manipulated, transformed and studied. You go through the admissions procedure o Will-breaking Contests: you think you have autonomy, but you find out that in prison you don’t have those decisions to make anymore. o Dispossession of Property: you identify with some of your personal possessions, in prison you are dispossessed of this property or this identity o Personal Disfigurement: enter prison with a certain conception of yourself, your body is voluntarily/involuntary modified o Verbal Humiliation: having to refer to someone, who is the similar age saying ‘Sir’. Humiliation as being referred to as a number and not by your name. o Taking on Disidentifying Roles: If someone does something that does not correspond with your vision of yourself it can cause problems (e.g. rape) o Contaminative Exposure: if you do not like violence, in prison you are always exposed to it. You are exposed to things that you do not want to see, however you do not have a choice. You cannot get a way from certain things. o Experiential Mortification: experience something that doesn’t work with how you see yourself (hear someone get raped but you cannot help them because you are in your jail cell) o Restrictions on Autonomy and Freedom: not being able to control certain things  Consequences of the Mortification Process: o Institutionalization: having the institution govern all aspect of life. Person may no longer be able to make decision on their own when released as they are so used to people telling them what and how to do something. o Self-esteem Issues: your self is being attacked, you start to question yourself and criticize ourselves o Stress is constant and doesn’t go away and it can have implications later down the road.  The Privilege System: Purpose of a privilege system is to ensure some form of compliance with the prisoners, trying to get them to be cooperative in a situation where it is hard. o House Rules: institution rules that people are expected to abide by o Privileges: prison deprives us of certain things. The suspensions of the deprivations is what is seen as a privilege (e.g. providing someone with a bar of soap) o Punishments: if you break the rules, used to try through a means of deterrence and pain, to try and get that person to comply the way we want them to.  Lines of Adaptation: o Situational Withdrawal: putting yourself in a total institutional situation and ignoring everything else around you, however once this happens it is hard to go back and socialize. Ignores non-immediate events, irreversible o Intransigence: the person challenges the institution (rebellion), rejecting the rules. Challenges and/or rejects the institution, temporary o Colonization: entering an institutional context, is that the institution keeps referring to the outside world to motivate you. However, when you inside, you adapt to being in prison so in effect it is not motivating. The inside is just as good as the outside. Some may become so used to it that they may try to stay in there longer, or once they get released, they may try and do something to get back in, it is the idea that they are no used to such kind of autonomy. o Conversion: the person actually takes on the staffs views o Playing it cool: Use of various forms of adaptation, Limiting contact and activities with prisoners  Prison Culture: o Self-concern: People being concerned for themselves, self-pity, trying to project a certain image of yourself by telling other inmates stories of yourself. o Doing Time: Having a goal o
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