chapter  5
19 Pages

‘You don’t even know where you are’: Chaotic Geographies of US Migrant Detention and Deportation

This chapter discusses that geographers look for the positives in the carceral experience a little more than criminologists do. Geographers highlight themes of arbitrary transfers, pointless labour, solitary confinement, indefinite detention and casual brutality. It is not that criminologists and penologists have not observed agency, resistance and counter-narratives in prisons or that we do not write about themes such as autonomy, privacy and power. Maintaining identity and selfhood within mortifying, dehumanizing and painful carceral environments, is a burgeoning theme in prison studies. When the public work of identity management becomes too arduous it is important to have a private place where the public mask can be put aside and one can be oneself'. But people tend to emphasize the depth', weight' and tightness' of imprisonment, its 'inherent pains' and 'deprivations' and society's deep cultural attachment to incarceration, manifested in a virulent penal populism.