Prison Expansionism, Media, and “Offender Pools”: An Abolitionist Perspective on the Criminalization of Minorities in the Canadian Criminal Justice System

Steven Nguyen

Abstract


Increases in prison construction under Stephen Harper’s Conservative government pave the way for an ever-expanding prison population followed by a persistently growing pool of offenders to ensure prison beds will be filled. This phenomenon of prison expansionism is outlined in Thomas Mathiesen’s (1986) classical text on abolitionism. Informed by Mathiesen’s argument of prison expansionism this paper will explore the role of mass media in conjunction with the criminalization of minorities which ensures a constant pool of offenders to supply the much-needed bodies for prison consumption.


Keywords


Canada; Harper; prisons; incarceration; racism; abolitionism; moral panics; media; anti-terrorism laws; Islamophobia

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References


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