Video Links from Prison: Permeability and the Carceral World
As audio visual communication technologies are installed in prisons, these spaces of incarceration are networked with courtrooms and other non-contiguous spaces, potentially facilitating a process of permeability. Jurisdictions around the world are embracing video conferencing and the technology is becoming a major interface for prisoners’ interactions with courts and legal advisers. In this paper, I draw on fieldwork interviews with prisoners from two correction centres in New South Wales, Australia, to understand their subjective and sensorial experiences of using video links as a portal to the outside world. These interviews raised many issues including audio permeability: a soundtrack of incarceration sometimes infiltrates into the prison video studio and then the remote courtroom, framing the prisoner in the context of their detention, intruding on legal process, and affecting prisoners’ comprehension and participation.
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