This project was supported by the Open Society Institute and the University of Washington's Institute for Ethnic Studies in the United States. Thanks to our interview respondents who shared their sometimes difficult experiences and thoughtful reflections with us. Thanks also to Matt Wilson for his good-natured and excellent research assistance, our colleagues at the University of Washington who provided inspiration and ideas, colleagues at the University of California at Berkeley who provided useful ideas and feedback on an earlier version of this article, and several anonymous reviewers who offered thoughtful and useful comments. This study was authorized by IRB at the University of Washington (05-9070-G 01).
Penal Boundaries: Banishment and the Expansion of Punishment
Version of Record online: 19 FEB 2010
© 2010 American Bar Foundation
Law & Social Inquiry
Volume 35, Issue 1, pages 1–38, Winter 2010
How to Cite
Beckett, K. and Herbert, S. (2010), Penal Boundaries: Banishment and the Expansion of Punishment. Law & Social Inquiry, 35: 1–38. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-4469.2009.01176.x
- Issue online: 19 FEB 2010
- Version of Record online: 19 FEB 2010
We use this article to argue for greater recognition of legally imposed spatial exclusion—banishment—as a (re)emerging and consequential social control practice. Although the new social control techniques that entail banishment are buttressed by a blend of civil, administrative, and criminal law, they are best understood as punitive in nature. This argument is supported by two empirical findings. First, interviews with the banished indicate that spatial exclusion often has significant negative consequences akin to those identified by Sykes (1958) in his seminal account of the pains of imprisonment. Second, court data show that the growing use of civil and administrative banishment has increased the number of criminal cases involving allegations of noncompliance. These findings suggest that analysts of punishment might usefully broaden their focus to include phenomena that combine civil, criminal, and legal authority, and are not defined as punishment by their advocates.