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The paradox of the ‘green’ prison: sustaining the environment or sustaining the penal complex?

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-04-09, 08:30 authored by Yvonne Jewkes, D. Moran
This article examines the ways in which sustainability discourses intersect with carceral policies. Building new prisons to ‘green’ industry standards; making existing prison buildings less environmentally harmful; incorporating processes such as renewable energy initiatives; offering ‘green-collar’ work and training to prisoners; and providing ‘green care’ in an effort to reduce recidivism, are all provided as evidence of ‘green’ strategies that shape the experience of prisoners, prison staff and the communities in which prisons are located. But although usually portrayed positively, this article proposes an alternative, potentially more contentious, interpretation of the green prison. In the context of mounting costs of incarceration, we suggest that green discourses perversely are fast becoming symbolic and material structures that frame and support mass imprisonment. Consequently, we argue, it may be the penal complex, rather than the environment, which is being ‘sustained’. Moreover, we suggest this is a topic worthy of attention from ‘green criminologists’.

Funding

This work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council [grant number ES/K011081/1].

History

Citation

Theoretical Criminology: an international journal. March 30, 2015 1362480615576270

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE/Department of Criminology

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Theoretical Criminology: an international journal. March 30

Publisher

SAGE Publications

issn

1362-4806

eissn

1461-7439

Copyright date

2015

Available date

2015-04-09

Publisher version

http://tcr.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/03/24/1362480615576270

Language

en

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