The prison is another country: incarcerated students and (im)mobility in Australian prisons

Farley, Helen and Hopkins, Susan (2016) The prison is another country: incarcerated students and (im)mobility in Australian prisons. Critical Studies in Education, . doi:10.1080/17508487.2016.1255240

Author Farley, Helen
Hopkins, Susan
Title The prison is another country: incarcerated students and (im)mobility in Australian prisons
Journal name Critical Studies in Education   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1750-8487
Publication date 2016-12-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/17508487.2016.1255240
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Total pages 18
Place of publication Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Abstract Space, time and movement have particular meanings and significance for Australian prisoners attempting higher education while incarcerated. In a sense, the prison is another ‘world’ or ‘country’ with its own spatial and temporal arrangements and constraints for incarcerated university students. The contemporary digital university typically presupposes a level of mobility and access to mobile communication technologies which most Australian prisoners cannot access. This article examines the immobility of incarcerated students and their attempts to complete tertiary and pre-tertiary distance education courses without direct internet access. Drawing on critical mobilities theory, this article also explores attempts to address this digital disconnection of incarcerated students and where such interventions have been frustrated by movement issues within the prison. Prison focus group data suggest the use of modified digital learning technologies in prisons needs to be informed by a critical approach to the institutional processes and practices of this unique and challenging learning environment. This article also highlights the limitations and contradictions of painful immobilisation as a core strategy of Australia’s modern, expanding penal state, which encourages rehabilitation through education, while effectively cutting prisoners off from the wider digital world.
Keyword Digital learning
Incarcerated students
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Article available on journal website:

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
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Created: Fri, 17 Mar 2017, 11:47:12 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry