The prison is another country: incarcerated students and (im)mobility in Australian prisons (2017)
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.
CitationFarley H, Hopkins S (2017). The prison is another country: incarcerated students and (im)mobility in Australian prisons. Critical Studies in Education. 58(2). 150-167.
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Keywordsincarcerated students; digital learning; mobility; immobility
ANZSRC Fields of Research44 - Human society::4402 - Criminology::440202 - Correctional theory, offender treatment and rehabilitation
39 - Education::3903 - Education systems::390303 - Higher education
39 - Education::3904 - Specialist studies in education::390405 - Educational technology and computing
RightsAll rights reserved unless otherwise stated
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The use of mobile technologies to overcome digital inequities in prison education: A pilot project Murphy A; Farley, Helen (2012)Incarcerated students face a number of additional challenges to those faced by most other students studying at a distance. Lack of internet access is especially problematic for those studying in a sector that is increasingly ...
Murphy A; Bedford T; Farley, Helen (2012)Incarcerated students face a number of additional challenges to those faced by most other students studying at a distance. Lack of internet access is especially problematic for those studying in a sector that is increasingly ...
Hopkins S; Farley, Helen (Common Ground Research Networks, 2015)This paper explores an Australian trial of mobile learning technologies, including internet-independent eBook readers loaded with tertiary preparation materials, which attempted to improve access to tertiary courses and ...