Challenging Immigration Detention
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Challenging Immigration Detention

Academics, Activists and Policy-makers

Edited by Michael J. Flynn and Matthew B. Flynn

Immigration detention is an important global phenomenon increasingly practiced by states across the world in which human rights violations are commonplace. Challenging Immigration Detention introduces readers to various disciplines that have addressed immigration detention in recent years and how these experts have sought to challenge underlying causes and justifications for detention regimes. Contributors provide an overview of the key issues addressed in their disciplines, discuss key points of contention, and seek out linkages and interactions with experts from other fields.
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Chapter 3: Immigration detention and penal power: a criminological perspective

Mary Bosworth


There is increasing convergence between criminal and immigration law as states respond to international migration by erecting and enforcing tougher visa and border controls, leading to a surge in the numbers of foreign nationals in prison and immigration detention. The chapter draws on research conducted in a number of immigration removal centres in the United Kingdom to examine insights from the discipline of criminology in explaining and critiquing these developments. Although criminology has been slow to respond to border control, over the last decade an increasing number of scholars have begun focusing on this issue. Their work demonstrates the rich, critical heritage that the discipline brings to the study of immigration detention and the insights that have been gained as a result. Long accustomed to investigating coercive state practices, criminologists are particularly well positioned to gain access to these contested border sites and engage critically with policy makers. By comparing immigration detention to imprisonment, criminologists can hone in on its paradoxes and inconsistencies, challenge its rationale and legitimacy and highlight how it fails to meet traditional expectations of justice.

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