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Reform and Everyday Practice: Some Issues of Prison Governance


Mahuya Bandyopadhyay


In this paper, I explore reform, both as an objective of the prison system as well as a practice, by drawing on intensive fieldwork conducted in a central prison in West Bengal. In the first section, I examine the colonial underpinnings of the understanding of reform as a goal of the prison administration. I argue that there is a disjunction between the idea and practice of reform. In the second section, I present the organizational practice of reform through instances from everyday life in prison. In the third section, I focus on prisoners’ conceptions of reform to show how a participatory approach to reform may create enabling spaces.

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Address: Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, 
University of Delhi (North Campus)
Delhi - 110007

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