“The Violence and Violations of Imprisonment”
Time: 6.00 pm
Date: Thursday, 5 March, 2009
Venue: Old Council Chambers, Trades Hall
Cost: $4 (waged) or gold coin donation (unwaged)
Phil Scraton is a Professor of Criminology in the Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice, School of Law, Queen’s University, Belfast where he is Director of the Childhood, Transition and Social Justice Initiative. Widely published, his recent books include: Childhood in Crisis?; Hillsborough: The Truth; Beyond September 11; Power, Conflict and Criminalisation.
The lecture will reflect on the recently published collection, The Violence of Incarceration (co-edited with Jude McCulloch). Phil Scraton proposes that physical and emotional violence are central elements in the incarceration of men, women and children in advanced democratic societies. As prison populations and those held in secure accommodation have expanded well beyond official projections, carceral institutions have produced ever-harsher regimes of containment. In exploring the dynamics of interpersonal violence, institutionalised abuses and incarceration Phil Scraton theorises custodial violence as a continuum. He connects routine, punitive responses, undermining prisoners’ self-esteem and mental health to the directly brutal and brutalising manifestations of formal and informal punishments. Moreover he considers the culture of impunity that enables harsh regimes to persist and institutionalised human rights violations to be rationalised.