chapter  32
The technology of confinement and quasi-therapeutic control
Managing souls with in-cell television
ByVictoria Knight
Pages 18

This chapter considers how contemporary technologies like television are co-opted into this philosophy of confinement. It draws on ethnographic research into in-cell television and the emergence of digital media in a closed adult male prison. The chapter describes television's birth into prisons in England and Wales and contextualises the policy in which it is justified. It also describes how technology like television can be imagined as a mode of governance by drawing on the detailed business of emotional control from the perspectives of both prison staff and prisoners. The chapter reviews the nature and implications of the care-giving qualities of television and digital technologies, which have begun to be introduced more recently. Exploiting these 'lifeless materials' by allowing prisoners to access a range of digital technologies could widen the principles of quasi-therapeutic control further. Television, in the prison context, belongs to a variety of 'civilising technologies' which seek to manage risk and dangerousness.