Prison-military complex

The Prison-Military Complex

What is the relationship between prisons – spaces of control, spatial exclusion and confinement – and institutions of the military? This research strand understands the complex relations between prisons and the ways in which they are embedded in (post) military infrastructures and staffed by (past) military personnel at a time at which prisons worldwide see an increasing relation (and reliance) on the two. This collaborative research based on long-term observations, survey analysis and interviews, explores the multifarious connections between these institutions in a variety of global contexts.

Research projects

2020-2022: Correctional Staff in Canada: Understanding the Armed Forces to Civilian Transition Within Prison Spaces in Canadian Provinces

This project draws together an international research team including Prof. Rose Ricciardelli (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada), Prof. Dominique Moran (University of Birmingham, UK), Prof. Anna Eriksson (Monash University, Australia) and Dr Jennifer Turner (University of Oldenburg). Project data includes long-term observations, survey analysis and interviews and explores the multifarious connections between prison and military staff in Canada. In Oldenburg, the project is supported by two research assistants: Lilian Laiser and Christina Leontjew-Veith. This research is funded by an Insight Development Grant, The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (CAN $74,230/€39.477).

Associated publications:

Ricciardelli, R., Andres, E., Mitchell, M.M., Quirion, B., Groll, D. Adorjan, M., Siqueira Cassiano, M., Shewmake, J., McKinnon, M., Herzog-Evans, M., Czarnuch, S., Genest, C., Gacek, J., Cramm, H., Moran, D., Spencer, D., Maier, K., Phoenix, J., MacDermid, J., Weinrath, M., Haynes, S., Arnold, H., Turner, J., Eriksson, A., Heber, A., Anderson, G., MacPhee, R., & Carleton, R.N. (2021) CCWORK Protocol: The longitudinal study of Canadian correctional workers’ wellbeing, organizations, roles and knowledge. British Medical Journal Open 11: e052739. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-052739

2018-present: The prison as a (post)military landscape

This research strand considers the ways in which the built environment of prisons, both through their material origins and the ways in which they currently function, is interrelated with military landscapes. This includes particular connections during and after war, conversion of military bases, and deployment of ex-military personnel. In interrogating these aspects, this research enhances understandings of the nature of the carceral, and the relationship between ‘military’ and ‘civilian’ standings of postmilitary (and post-military) landscapes.

Associated publications:

Moran, D. and Turner, J. (2022) Carceral and military geographies: Prisons, the military and war. Progress in Human Geography 46(3) 829-848

Moran, D. and Turner, J. (2021) The prison as a postmilitary landscape. Social and Cultural Geography DOI: 10.1080/14649365.2021.1983860

Moran, D., Turner, J. and Arnold, H. (2019) Soldiering on? The prison‐military complex and ex‐military personnel as prison officers: Transition, rehabilitation and prison reform. The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice 58(2) 220-239

2018-2019: Soldiering On? Ex-Services Prison Personnel and Reform in the UK Prison Service

Significant research attention has been paid to the former-military prisoner population (often called Veterans-in-custody). This project instead explored the role played by the apparently-large number of staff with military experience working within Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMP) via online questionnaires with both current and former prison staff. This research entered into the debates around the value of recruiting individuals with a military background for employment in the custodial sector, and the impact of such a role in their individual military-civilian transitions. This project was a collaboration between Dr Jennifer Turner (University of Oldenburg) and Prof. Dominique Moran (University of Birmingham, UK) and was funded by School of Environmental Sciences Research Fund at the University of Liverpool, UK (£1,188/€1.386).

Associated publications:

Moran, D. and Turner, J. (2022) How many prison officers are ex‐military personnel? Estimating the proportion of Armed Forces leavers within the prison workforce of England and Wales. The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice 61(2) 148-166

Turner, J. and Moran, D. (2021) Bridging the gap? Ex-military personnel and military-civilian transition within the prison workforce. Armed Forces and Society. DOI: 10.1177/0095327X211039879

Moran, D. and Turner, J. (2021) Drill, discipline and decency? Exploring the significance of prior military experience for prison staff culture. Theoretical Criminology. DOI: 10.1177/13624806211031248

(Changed: 19 Jan 2024)  | 
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