Let me take a vacation in prison before the streets kill me! Rough sleepers’ longing for prison and the reversal of less eligibility in neoliberal carceral continuums

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In a steadily expanding carceral landscape, rough sleepers are using prisons in unforeseen ways: namely to escape violence, for survival, to access social or medical care, enhance their prospects or regain housing. Like most neoliberal welfare states, the German aid system is dispersed and based on individual responsibility, but in prison it concentrates due to the prison’s duty to rehabilitate which translates into care for the subject position ‘inmate’ but holds politically unwanted unhoused persons responsible to change their fates. Poor and disenfranchised people who use prisons as lifelines turn the carceral grip into an embrace. Their tactics reveal a reverse cycle of carcerality where the streets are the space of detriment and the prison, trough harnessing the productivity of penal power, offers a break or potential escape from carceral livelihoods. Rough sleepers who seek imprisonment to escape the hardship and confinement of the streets challenge the concept of less eligibility and offer new ways to theorise the carceral and to think through prisons and the iron rules of punishment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalPunishment and Society
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 May 2021

Keywords

  • punishment
  • imprisonment
  • carceral continuums
  • carcerality
  • confinement
  • Germany
  • homelessness
  • less eligibility
  • poverty
  • prison
  • prison-street nexus

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