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Tracing the Relationship between Inequality, Crime and PunishmentSpace, Time and Politics$
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Nicola Lacey, David Soskice, Leonidas Cheliotis, and Sappho Xenakis

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266922

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266922.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Social Environments of Pervasive Incarceration: Lessons from Australia’s Top End

Social Environments of Pervasive Incarceration: Lessons from Australia’s Top End

Chapter:
(p.199) 8 Social Environments of Pervasive Incarceration: Lessons from Australia’s Top End
Source:
Tracing the Relationship between Inequality, Crime and Punishment
Author(s):

Bruce Western

Catherine Sirois

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266922.003.0008

U.S. mass incarceration is characterized by pervasive imprisonment among black men with little schooling that is often viewed as the product of punitive criminal justice policy. This chapter argues that pervasive incarceration also arises under a specific set of social conditions that make police contact and detention overwhelmingly likely. This work explores the social conditions of pervasive incarceration in a significantly less punitive policy context, in Australia’s Northern Territory where social inequality is acute and incarceration is woven into everyday life. Interviews and field observation in this region show that pervasive indigenous incarceration emerges in a historical context of racial inequality marked by extreme material hardship, violent family conflict and alcohol abuse. Where violence is coupled to poverty, penal institutions respond expansively to myriad social problems — including serious violence.

Keywords:   Australia, Indigenous, Incarceration, Violence, Poverty, Racial inequality

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