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Penal Boundaries: Banishment and the Expansion of Punishment

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We use this article to argue for greater recognition of legally imposed spatial exclusion—banishment—as a (re)emerging and consequential social control practice. Although the new social control techniques that entail banishment are buttressed by a blend of civil, administrative, and criminal law, they are best understood as punitive in nature. This argument is supported by two empirical findings. First, interviews with the banished indicate that spatial exclusion often has significant negative consequences akin to those identified by Sykes (1958) in his seminal account of the pains of imprisonment. Second, court data show that the growing use of civil and administrative banishment has increased the number of criminal cases involving allegations of noncompliance. These findings suggest that analysts of punishment might usefully broaden their focus to include phenomena that combine civil, criminal, and legal authority, and are not defined as punishment by their advocates.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-12-01

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