Pre-crime, post-prisons and the pandemic state: theorising a mobile future in the lockdown society

Hopkins, Susan ORCID: (2021) Pre-crime, post-prisons and the pandemic state: theorising a mobile future in the lockdown society. Advancing Corrections: Journal of the International Corrections and Prisons Association (11):11. pp. 162-168.


This article argues that if we want to fully understand how the future of prisons will unfold, we must critically interrogate the 'new normal' of the evolving Pandemic State and associated advanced technological tools and trends, toward digital surveillance, digital authoritarianism, polarising new media and community policing. Moreover, this article argues that carceral citizens, and the low socio-economic communities they come from, will be disproportionately affected by social and economic inequalities aggravated by the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath. Here in Australia, access to safe, secure and affordable housing will continue to be a particular hot spot issue, due in part to neoliberalist Australian government policies and funding cutbacks that have left the disadvantaged, especially women, exposed to illness, violence, poverty and homelessness – thus, increasing their risk of (re)incarceration. At the same time, evolving, digitised tracking and compliance means and methods are extending the reach of the Pandemic State into the lives of the most vulnerable and 'at risk' communities, including the formerly incarcerated and yet to be incarcerated. New theorisations will be vitally necessary to fully explain these evolving interconnections in a neoliberalist future which will be both after prisons and after pandemics, and thus this paper deploys (im)mobility theory as a tool to explain this global, social and cultural shift toward 'security' as the dominant value of the new 'lockdown' society – trends which may continue long after the virus is under control. This paper also provides illustrations from film and popular culture, particularly through the science fiction metaphor of 'Pre-crime' or anticipated crime, to render these theorisations and the cultural shifts they capture more accessible for a wide audience of academics and practitioners. This paper concludes that it is especially important for corrections education to critically scrutinise the evolving applications and impacts of mobile and digital technologies over carceral citizens – technologies which can facilitate, as well as impede, the physical and social mobility of vulnerable persons in the emerging unequal, punitive, lockdown society

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © Copyright International Corrections and Prisons Association.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ College (8 Jun 2020 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ College (8 Jun 2020 -)
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2021 02:01
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2021 00:01
Uncontrolled Keywords: COVID-19; after prisons; carceral citizens; surveillance; lockdown society; mobility theory
Fields of Research (2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1602 Criminology > 160202 Correctional Theory, Offender Treatment and Rehabilitation
Fields of Research (2020): 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4402 Criminology > 440216 Technology, crime and surveillance
48 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 4804 Law in context > 480405 Law and society and socio-legal research
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940408 Rehabilitation and Correctional Services
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 23 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 2304 Justice and the law > 230408 Rehabilitation and correctional services

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