Policing and Incarceration

Prison fixes and flows: Carceral mobilities and their critical logistics

This paper asks how the logics of globalized supply chains—particularly through fixes, risk, speed and stoppages, and motility—are articulated in carceral space. We employ critical logistics in conversation with carceral geographies and critical mobilities to examine prison transfers, the routine movement of incarcerated people between carceral sites, as a logistical system designed to fix carceral crises; which is to say, to make prisons viable. This work emerges from preliminary research on prison transfers, conducted from 2018 to 2019, including interviews with advocates and formerly incarcerated people and analysis of data and administrative documents obtained from the New York Department of Corrections, among others. First, we locate the emergence of contemporary practices of logistical transfer management (“transfer logistics”) in the prison boom of the 1980s–1990s. We then examine the present-day transfer system to consider how risk calculation and carceral fixes inform movement throughout prison constellations as well as how transfers disrupt the fragile worlding that happens in prisons. Finally, we turn to how these logics are being reshaped and reiterated in the era of neoliberal urban planning through “justice hubs.”

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Volume 39 Issue 3

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