Life in the Shadow Carceral State: Surveillance and Control of Refugees in Australia
This article critically examines techniques employed by the Australian state to expand its control of refugees and asylum seekers living in Australia. In particular, it analyses the operation of Australia’s unique Asylum Seeker Code of Behaviour, which asylum seekers who arrive by boat must sign in order to be released from mandatory immigration detention, with reference to an original dataset of allegations made under the Code. We argue that the Code and the regime of visa cancellation and re-detention powers of which it forms a part are manifestations of what Beckett and Murakawa call the ‘shadow carceral state’, whereby punitive state power is extended beyond prison walls through the blurring of civil, administrative and criminal legal authority. The Code contributes to Australia’s apparatus of refugee deterrence by adding to it a brutal system of surveillance, visa cancellation and denial of services for asylum seekers living in the community.
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