CfP: Publication of Edited Volume on Asian Prisons

Editors: Mahuya Bandyopadhyay and Rimple Mehta 

Much of the research and writing on prisons is on Western prisons and the frameworks for conceptualisation of research on prisons and understanding about them is derived from the ideas of the ‘well-ordered Western prison’. These frameworks often result in systematic erasures of the historical and cultural specificities of the prisons of the Global South. We seek articles that will demonstrate such erasures through a focus on systems of prison management, practices, and ideas of reform and rehabilitation. The articles will also draw on the idea of the prison as a cultural space where the intersecting identities of race, caste, class, gender shape the everyday life in prison. We envisage that the articles will provide a broad overview of the use of imprisonment in different countries of Asia. We hope that this focus on the cultural specificities of the systems of imprisonment and punishment will enable us to build a comparative understanding of prison systems in the region. The articles could choose from a range of issues to further elaborate on the practices of punishment, while addressing the critical issue of erasure as mentioned before. This could include the following:

  • historical trajectory of the penal machinery of the chosen country
  • legal frameworks and norms that govern prisons in the country
  • summary of the extent of the use of imprisonment, with focus on the imprisoned populations and foreign nationals in prisons
  • an understanding of prison conditions
  • narratives of practices, contestations and negotiations within the prison
  • ideas of reform and rehabilitation within the prison system and how they are being used
  • relationship and linkages between the prison and the other criminal justice organisations
  • impending and/or ongoing privatisation of prisons

The list is not exhaustive and is only indicative of some of the themes that authors may choose to focus on. However, we are keen that the articles must present empirical accounts of prison practice and the historical shifts therein. We hope that you will be able to bring your own interests and perspective to the chapter, in terms of focussing on particular prisons within the country or general issues confronting the prison system of the country. We welcome collaborative articles. Our hope is that each chapter will be more than a straightforward review of the topic and provide an overview and critical analysis of the key issues and questions in the area, and also seek to advance it with original data, theory or argumentation.

Please submit your 500-word abstract and a short biography to us by 1st August 2018 (