Expanding the penal landscape: The immigration detention phenomena

Organised by the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto 

Over the last few decades, we have witnessed the proliferation of practices of migration control. These include the creation, reinforcement and development of borders; the multiplication and diversification of practices and spaces of detention; the implementation of different initiatives of supervision and control of undocumented migrants and asylum seekers before detention and after release; the use of violent practices of push-backs, strategies of containment, and spectacles of transporting migrants and asylum seekers; the prosecution of organizations and individuals supporting migrants and asylum seekers; and the amplification of deportation practices. At the same time, both people on the move and the organizations and citizens supporting them have accumulated knowledge and developed strategies to resist, manage, and overcome the aforementioned attempts to constrain human mobility. This multiplicity of practices is being analyzed from within various disciplines including, but not limited to sociology, political science, anthropology, legal geography, criminology, and migration studies.

Some of these analyses have identified the punitive nature of migration enforcement practices but these processes are frequently characterized as outside the field of “punishment”. Scholars such as Hannah-Moffat and Lynch (2012) have pointed to the need to expand “definitional boundaries of the category of ‘punishment’” (Hannah-Moffat and Lynch, 2012: 119). According to them, these boundaries “tend to neglect a number of questions about what constitutes punishment in diverse settings, and are limited in their ability to explain on-the-ground punitive practices, particularly in contexts that challenge traditional understandings of the penal realm” (Hannah-Moffat and Lynch, 2012: 119). In this vein, Bosworth, Franko and Pickering (2018: 35) argue that the term “punishment” should be fundamentally adjusted so as to include the proliferation of “bordered forms of penality” (Bosworth, Franko and Pickering, 2018: 46). Others have studied the racialized, gendered, and (post)colonial character of border and/or migration control and immigration detention (Bosworth, Parmar and Vázquez, 2018).

This international interdisciplinary workshop provides an opportunity to reflect, both conceptually and empirically, on the explosion of penal and punitive forms and consequences of border and migration control practices in the Global North and South.

Confirmed keynote speakers: Yolanda Vázquez, Associate Professor of Law, College of Law, University of Cincinnati (United States) and Alison Mountz, Professor of Geography and Canada Research Chair in Global Migration at Wilfrid Laurier University (Canada).

REGISTER HERE: Expanding the penal landscape: The immigration detention phenomena Tickets, Mon, 17 May 2021 at 9:00 AM | Eventbrite

For more details, please visit the event webpage: https://www.crimsl.utoronto.ca/governmigration