Call for Presentations


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Experiencing Prison
7th Global Conference

Call for Participation 2016

Thursday 17th March – Saturday 19th March 2016
Budapest, Hungary

It is estimated there are currently around 9 million people in prisons across the globe. Statistics can tell us which countries or regions have the highest rates of incarceration. Statistics can tell us about the most common offenses, subdivided by race and sex of offender. Statistics can record the number of assaults and fatalities among inmates. What these numbers cannot convey is the essence of what it means to be a prisoner and what the prison experience entails for those being punished as well as for those overseeing the punishment. We may catch glimpses of what that experience is like in news reports on prison conditions in institutions at home and around the world. We may even glean some sense of the reality of prison life from watching or reading stories set in prison, such as Orange is the New Black, The Shawshank Redemption and Wentworth. Yet, unless we have direct or indirect experience with the prison environment, our awareness of the issues and challenges associated with maintaining a just and fair prison system is often dependent upon media coverage that fails to convey the complexities and nuances of these matters.

The Prison conference provides a platform for inter-disciplinary dialogues aimed at grappling with questions around the purpose, effectiveness, legitimacy and social impact of prisons. Participants will explore questions about the justifications for withdrawing the freedom of another human being, the fairness of legal processes used to determine guilt, the usefulness of incarceration as a mode of punishment, ethical treatment of prisoners and the impact of the legal and economic structures that support prison systems around the world. Carefully attention will also be devoted to the many facets of the prison experience, as well as the cultural mechanisms that inform our understanding of it.

The organisers welcome participants whose professional expertise or experiences contribute to the project’s inter-disciplinary understanding of prisons, especially corrections facility staff, legal experts, law enforcement officers, former inmates, medical/clinical professionals, clergy, journalists, civil servants, representatives from NGOs, creative practitioners whose work deals with prison issues, and academics working in relevant fields.

Prisoners and the Prison Experience
• Types of Prisoners: political dissidents, prisoners of war, violent offenders, non-violent offenders, white collar criminals, innocent/wrongly accused, asylum seekers
• The female experience in prison
• Transgendered people in prison
• Relationships in prison: motherhood, sex, friendship and bonding, relationships with people ‘outside’
• Rape, assault and other acts of violence
• Torture in prison
• Death and dying in prison
• Social structures within the prison environment
• Prisoner interactions with guards and administrators
• Historical perspectives on the prison experience
• Race, racism and prison
• Poverty, class and prison
• Writing, art and other creative practices in prison
• Representing the prison experience in literature, theatre, TV, film, video games, music and art

Life After Prison
• Challenges of reintegration
• Rehabilitation and education
• Discrimination against former inmates
• Family and friends coping with the release of loved ones
• Community service and volunteerism

Prison as Institution
• Prison as workplace: experiences of guards, administrators and institutional officials
• Prison spaces: architectural design in theory and practice, boot camps, work camps, open air prisons, etc.
• Technologies of incarceration
• Teaching and learning in prison
• Spirituality and religion in prison
• Counselling and other clinical experiences with prisoners
• (In)Famous prisons and their legacy (Auschwitz, Guantanamo Bay, Alcatraz, Newgate Gaol, etc.)
• Prisons and dark tourism
• Prison conditions around the globe
• Economics of incarceration: politics of awarding contracts, private vs public management, impact of prison location on local communities, etc.

Prisons in Law and Policy
• Theories and practices in rehabilitation and humane containment
• Balancing punishment and human rights
• Prison reform initiatives
• Innovative approaches to incarceration
• Relationship between justice system and corrections system
• Race, class, sex and other forms of discrimination in sentencing
• Correctional services as public policy: governmental/civil service perspectives
• National and international legal provisions around prison conditions and prisoners’ rights
• NGOs and charities working in the area of prison reform
• Social attitudes toward prison and prisoners

Call for Cross-Over Presentations
The Experiencing Prison project will be meeting at the same time as a project on Recognising Evil and another project on Responsibility. We welcome submissions which cross the divide between both project areas. If you would like to be considered for a cross project session, please mark your submission “Crossover Submission”.

What to Send
300 word abstracts, proposals and other forms of contribution should be submitted by Friday 9th October 2015.
All submissions be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Monday 19th October 2015.
If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 5th February 2016.

Abstracts may be in Word, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Experiencing Prison Abstract Submission

Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs:

Organising Chairs:
Diana Medlicott:
Rob Fisher:

This event is an inclusive interdisciplinary research and publishing project. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.

All papers accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English and will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook.  Selected papers may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.

Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation. Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.