Accepted paper:

Perpetuating insecurity: coexistence inside a male prison

Author:

Catarina Frois (ISCTE-IUL)

Paper short abstract:

In this presentation I debate how the daily aggressions experienced by prisoners within a Portuguese male prison subject them to the kind of fear and insecurity that they themselves recognize as having been responsible for when committing the crimes that got them convicted in the first place.

Paper long abstract:

In this presentation I debate how the daily aggressions experienced by prisoners within a Portuguese male prison subject them to the kind of fear and insecurity that they themselves recognize as having been responsible for when committing the crimes that got them convicted in the first place. On the one hand we have the discourse of prisoners on rehabilitation, on their past behaviors' and their expectations after imprisonment, on the other hand we recognize the impact of the prison's physical environment on their own bodies, manifested especially in conditions of acute stress, depression, frustration, anger, continuous presence of unwanted and unchosen others. These feelings in turn are channeled through physical violence directed at fellow inmates, not only as a means to achieve and maintain status and recognition, but especially as one of the few actions where they have the only decision about themselves.

panel P001
Bodies of evidence, experts, and intimacy in the anthropology of security (EASA Anthropology of Security Network)