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Social Science Criminology

Disruptive Prisoners

Resistance, Reform, and the New Deal

by (author) Chris Clarkson & Melissa Munn

Publisher
University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Jul 2021
Category
Criminology, General, General
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781487525910
    Publish Date
    Jul 2021
    List Price
    $34.95
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9781487508531
    Publish Date
    Jul 2021
    List Price
    $85.00
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781487538453
    Publish Date
    Jul 2021
    List Price
    $34.95

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Description

Disruptive Prisoners reconstitutes the history of Canada’s federal prison system in the mid-twentieth century through a process of collective biography – one involving prisoners, administrators, prison reformers, and politicians. This social history relies on extensive archival research and access to government documents, but more importantly, uses the penal press materials created by prisoners themselves and an interview with one of the founding penal press editors to provide a unique and unprecedented analysis.

 

Disruptive Prisoners is grounded in the lived experiences of men who were incarcerated in federal penitentiaries in Canada and argues that they were not merely passive recipients of intervention. Evidence indicates that prisoners were active agents of change who advocated for and resisted the initiatives that were part of Canada’s "New Deal in Corrections." While prisoners are silent in other criminological and historical texts, here they are central figures: the juxtaposition of their voices with the official administrative, parliamentary, and government records challenges the dominant tropes of progress and provides a more nuanced and complicated reframing of the post-Archambault Commission era.

 

The use of an alternative evidential base, the commitment of the authors to integrating subaltern perspectives, and the first-hand accounts by prisoners of their experiences of incarceration makes this book a highly readable and engaging glimpse behind the bars of Canada’s federal prisons.

About the authors

Chris Clarkson is a professor in the Department of History at Okanagan College.

Chris Clarkson's profile page

Melissa Munn is a professor in the Department of Sociology at Okanagan College.

Melissa Munn's profile page

Other titles by Chris Clarkson

Other titles by Melissa Munn