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Surveillance of 'Prolific' Offenders: Beyond 'Docile Bodies'

NCJ Number
Punishment & Society Volume: 15 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2013 Pages: 23-42
Michael McCahill; Rachel L. Finn
Date Published
January 2013
20 pages
This research focused on the use of new surveillance regines in the field of penality.
This article uses ethnographic research to explore how a sample of state-defined 'prolific' offenders living in Northern City (a small city in the North of England) experience and respond to a surveillance regime which includes 'appointments', 'tracking', 'interviews', 'drug testing', 'electronic monitoring', 'home visits' and 'intelligence-led policing'. While some writers have argued that the experience of 'house arrest' and electronic monitoring is consistent with 'disciplinary power' and the 'self-governing capabilities' identified by Foucault, our article interweaves surveillance theory with the work of Pierre Bourdieu to argue that the 'surveilled' are a group of creative 'social actors' who may negotiate, modify, evade or contest surveillance practices. Abstract published by arrangement with Sage Journals.