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Prison Community and the Deprivation of Liberty lecture notes up to January 29th 2014

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Justin Piche

January 8, 2014 Question 1: Why did the modern prison emerge? • Because society needed a better way to stop and control crime without torture and being inhumane. Couldn’t be selective about who we were denying rights to. Acceptable and legal way to remove undesirables from society. Deterrence. Increase in population. Conceal punishment. Modernity. Ineffectiveness of corporal punishment. Protection for society. Question 2: Why do we imprison? • To keep criminals off the street and prevent them from committing more illegal acts. Keeping citizens safe and unharmed. And to deter non-criminals from committing . Rehabilitation. Social control. Incapacitation. Retribution. Punishment. Question 3: What is prison life like for prisoners and staff? • Depressing. For prisoners it is probably a constant reminder of the fact that they fucked up their lives. For the staff it’s probably hard for them to live with the fact that they are taking away another human beings liberty. They might try and put themselves in the shoes of the prisoners. Isolated. Sanitation/hygiene. Separation. Categorization. More control. Cheap labor. Less fear from prisoner perspective. More fear from perspective of staff. Increase in minority groups. Increased surveillance. Increase and decrease in resources and programs. Question 4: How do you think prison objectives and prison life have changed over time, and why? • The objectives have changed from solely focusing on the criminal act to the person themselves. They accommodate to the person they are imprisoning not the criminal act that was committed. More focus on Mens Rea not just Actus Reus. Rehabilitation. Mental punishments. Punishing the ‘soul’. Recidivism. January 15, 2014 The Birth of the Modern Prison and the Role of State Punishment Locating Punishment within Economic Restructuring (George Rusche, 1980[1933] Contribution • 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 • To understand why we punish people we have to look beyond the acts they commit • Have to take the context of which they live in • Research Question • How changes in the economic do structures of given societies impact penal sanctions? • Theory • In context labor surpluses and related societal unrest, penal sanctions are devised according to the principle of less eligibility as a means of deterrence • Sufficiently deterred by the pain of the punishment • Based on a rational actor weighing the pros and cons of their actions • Managing dangerous classes and groups of people that if not pacified will upraise and pose a threat to their ability to accumulate and maintain wealth • In context of labor shortages and increase living standards, penal sanctions are devised to be ‘humane’ and generate wealth to deflate general living standards • Capital don’t have enough people working for them and the workers can demand higher wages • Workers can dictate conditions • Punishing in such a way that the people affected by the sanctions are generating wealth to deflating the living standards of those in conflict of the law • Ex. Prison labor • Not about punishing people. It’s about finding ways to put the prisoners in a situation where they are generating wealth in a minimal way. Makes you less competitive as an outside worker Early Middle Ages: 13 -16 century • Population: Thin and spread out. Living a rural life • Labor: Subsistence economy. People engaging in labor to survive • Wealth distribution: Relatively even with access to land. Granting out land • Frequency of ‘Crime’: Infrequent • Types of ‘Crime’: violent. Sexual and hate driven kinds of violence • ‘Crime control’ objectives: Reconciliation and feud prevention. Prevent feuds between families • ‘Crime control’ strategies: Penance and fines • People were able to survive Late Middle Ages • Population: Growth and concentration • Labor: Surplus no access. • Weatlh Distribution: disparate (rich and poor) with property in demand and inaccessible to many • Frequency of ‘crime’: increasing.Demanding more • Types of ‘crime’: unrest and property • ‘Crime’ control objective: deterrence. Had to make punishment worse than people living in poverty • ‘Crime control’ strategies: corporal and capital punishment Emergence of mercantilism • Government controls trade of natives • Population: declined because of wars, plagues and people were fleeing • Labor: scarcity. Less people around to work for aletes , workers able to demand more • Wealth distribution: increase in living standards • Frequency of ‘crime’: stable • Types of ‘crime’: unrest. Largely driven by desires for democracy • ‘Crime control’ objectives: profit under the guise of ‘humanitarianism’. About generating profit • ‘Crime control’ strategies: prison (as workhouse). Prisoners are put to work to generate and produce products that could be sold for less amounts of money than products produced by laborers on the outside. Meant to deflate living standards on the outside. Treat prisoners’ way so they can be adequate workers. Emergence of capitalism • Industrial revolution • Population: increase • Labor: surplus • Wealth distribution: decrease in living standards and employment scarcity • Frequency of ‘crime’: increasing • Types of ‘crime’: unrest • ‘Crime control’ objective: deterrence • ‘Crime control’ strategies: prison (as workhouse of less eligibility) Locating Punishment within Emerging Knowledge (Foucault, 1977[1975]) • Displays the type of power used to punish people before modern prison Away from public spectacles, towards concealment • Prison is concealed, don’t really know what goes on behind those walls • Previously punishment against body now with prison it’s against the soul Object of punishment: The Object of punishment: The body soul Basis of perceptions Experience that people had Consciousness. Embedding participating in the spectacle the idea of punishment and of punishment what it would mean in consciousness. Disciplined to think about potential punishments Effectiveness Intensity, unrelenting Inevitability of punishment if punishment you come into conflict with the law Source of deterrence Cruelty is high so people Certainty of the punishment of would be compelled not to prison engage in these acts Blameworthiness Author of the act (criminal) Author of the act: reinforcing the legitimacy of law Author of the punishment: people watching this punishment would blame the punisher as well as fear them Visibility Spectacle, public punishment Secrecy, mysterious punishment Objective Punishment Normalization. Disciplining people to exhibit normal behavior. Bring the person back to competence. Away from the body, towards the soul Means of Punishment: The Means of Punishment: The Public Spectacle Prison Role of the body Site of punishment Instruments of normalization/correction Role of physical pain Punishment and/or elimination “ Role of the deprivation of Prisons: Confinement while “ liberty awaiting punishment Role of professionals Infliction of pain: executioners“ Modes of power Sovereign Disciplinary • Designed to demonstrate the power of • Aimed at producing right thinking, the ruler over the ruled conformist acting, docile bodies, as required by capitalism • Power there to let people know who is the boss • More effective way of controlling populations • Create public spectacles where you show who has more power than others • Generating legitimacy for the state in a given society through persuasion rather than an iron fist • Petty sovereign Bentham’s Panopticon • A way of designing prisons • Way of arranging prisons so that a guard standing in the middle can look around and see into all the cells but the people in the cells can only see a small hole of light and don’t know what is happening beyond their door. Suppose to impose a self-disciplinary effect • Generates the feeling of always being watch and so you adjust your actions accordingly January 22, 2014 Reflection Questions 1. If imprisonment was strictly pursued to punish those in conflict with the law, would you support its use? • No, because there is evidence supporting the fact that strictly punishing criminals does not prevent criminals from reoffending • Criminals need to be rehabilitated so they are able to enter back into society once they have finished their sentence • Often history shows that the law is wrong 2. If so, on what grounds do you consent to the use of imprisonment in your name? • Prison should be a mini society with education, work for pay, and humane discipline when needed • Use imprisonment as punishment when they are a threat to society • Popular (action) • Certain crimes should have punishment • Punishment on its own is not enough to deter and it is very empty as a solution and needs more support 3. If not, what other objectives need to be pursued for you to consent to the use of imprisonment in your name? • Incapacitation • Deterrence • Rehabilitation • Objective of reintegration • Guilt/shame Beatti (1977) Constructions of ‘Crime’ in Upper Canada (1830-1850) • Discussion around crime at this time was that people who engage in these kinds of offences is that they didn’t have the proper educational background Frequency of ‘crime’ Scarce Types of ‘crime’ Property offences Basis for concern Symptom of immorality, social instability and lack of respect/deterence Explaining ‘crime’ Individual inadequacies (lack of education, moral instruction, discipline and character/ vice and idleness Sources of knowledge News articles Political debates Mechanisms for Restoring ‘Order’ and Moral Reformation • Temperance o Temperance movement and prohibit alcohol • Sabbatarianism o Making sure that people were engaged in religious observance on Sundays • Juvenile Industrial Schools o Put “at-risk” youth in boarding schools • Popular Education o Education for the masses. Minimal level of universal education for everyone because we needs to institute different forms of social control to make sure everyone is on the straight and narrow • Capital Punishment o Keep everything in check at the time The Emergence of the Prison as an Alternative Punishment in Canada (I) Decline in Legal Legitimacy • Selective administration of sentences o People that represent the state decided who lived and who died even when convicted for the same offences o Not equal • Reluctant to prosecute and convict o Due to so many offences resulting in death people were reluctant to convict them and be responsible for their death o Actors involved agreed it was screwed up • Capital punishment seen as immoral and/or ineffective o Discourse that it is ineffective and the state shouldn’t have the right to kill people if people can’t kill people Emerging Legal Culture • Proportionality o Ensuring proportionality between harms given by certain acts and harms inflicted by people and sentences • Reformation o Fix and normalize people Penal Reform in England • Prison envisaged as a site of punishment and reformation through schooling, work, moral influence and discipline o John Howard observed the disease inside these prisons. Vice and violence. o Use this place of punishment as a way to reform people The Emergence of the Prison as an Alternative Punishment in Canada (II) Pennsylvanian System Auburn System Objectives Punishment and reform Punishment and reform Basis for reformation Solitude and reflection: put Development of industrious someone in a cell alone 24/7 work habits to reflect they would come to realization that they did something wrong and will change on their own Confinement Isolation at all times Communal work in silence during the day. Sleep in separate cells at night • Reviewed and studied prisons Kingston Penitentiary (1835) • Based on the Auburn System • Pennsylvanian system seen as untested and not as profitable o People were going nuts from complete solidarity • Emphasis on deterrence (less-eligibility) and moral reformation efforts o Scare them by making them work Group Exercise 1 Upon its establishment, Kingston Penitentiary was intended to “impose regularity of labour and good work habits on men who were assumed to have been lazy and idle, while at the same time isolating each man, breaking his spirit, taming his passions and preventing the kind of corruption that indiscriminate intercourse among the prisoners was thought to encourage” (Beattie, 1977, p. 22). Discussion Questions 1. Putting yourself first in the shoes of a prisoner and then in the shoes of a prison administrator or staffer, what problems do you think would arise in an institution with a regime of labor and coerced silence during the day and a regime of isolation and silence in the night? o Prisoner: Insanity, resentment towards the guards and society, depression, mental illness, loss of hope, internalization of problems, loss of social skills, break the silence o Staff: difficult to enforce, scared of retaliation, desensitization, abuse of power, prisoners, harsh, industrialization, insanity, 2. Would this approach to punishment assist and / or undermine the pursuit of the moral reformation of prisoners? Jackson (2002) o Due to negative attention changes were needed New Objective, Familiar Outcomes (I) Crisis Main Recommendations Brown Commission Report • Abuse and corruption: • Solitary confinement (1849) abused in front of for 6 months upon first prisoners for breach of arrival to get used to silence silence • Failure to reform: after • Corporal punishment finishing sentence as a last resort reoffending to end up back in the prison • Segregation of once again juveniles from the adult who could • Increase in ‘crime’ due corrupt the young to poor rehabilitation tactics • Education: ex. Making them literate Archambault Commission • Failure to reform • Rehabilitation should Report (1938): different be the central goal. penitentiary failure to View criminality as a reform prisoners. WWII disease that can be report not followed through treated by offering till the war was passed. programs tailored *context to push forward towards reforming that change within the federal person. Bringing penitentiary system has professionals into this changed. setting. State intervention was • Humane discipline: absolutely necessary. resorting to corporal punishment not as much
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