The prison is another country: incarcerated students and (im)mobility in Australian prisons

Farley, Helen and Hopkins, Susan (2019) The prison is another country: incarcerated students and (im)mobility in Australian prisons. In: Education and the mobility turn. Taylor & Francis (Routledge), Abingdon, United Kingdom, pp. 26-43. ISBN 978-0-367-00181-0


Space, time and movement have particular meanings and significance for Australian prisoners attempting higher education while incarcerated. In a sense, the prison is another ‘world’ or ‘country’ with its own spatial and temporal arrangements and constraints for incarcerated university students. The contemporary digital university typically presupposes a level of mobility and access to mobile communication technologies which most Australian prisoners cannot access. This article examines the immobility of incarcerated students and their attempts to complete tertiary and pre-tertiary distance education courses without direct internet access. Drawing on critical mobilities theory, this article also explores attempts to address this digital disconnection of incarcerated students and where such interventions have been frustrated by movement issues within the prison. Prison focus group data suggest the use of modified digital learning technologies in prisons needs to be informed by a critical approach to the institutional processes and practices of this unique and challenging learning environment. This article also highlights the limitations and contradictions of painful immobilisation as a core strategy of Australia’s modern, expanding penal state, which encourages rehabilitation through education, while effectively cutting prisoners off from the wider digital world.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. This book chapter was originally published in Critical Studies in Education, vol. 58, no. 2, June 2017, pp. 150-167.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Open Access College
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2019 01:45
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2019 03:54
Uncontrolled Keywords: digital learning, immobility, incarcerated students, mobility
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1399 Other Education > 139999 Education not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939903 Equity and Access to Education

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