Miranda, DCD and Machado, H (2019) Photographing prisoners: the unworthy, unpleasant and unchanging criminal body. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 19 (5). pp. 591-604. ISSN 1748-8958

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The use of photography in representing the criminal body has long been a focus of interest in the social sciences, especially so when exploring the historical evolution of criminal identification practices. By contributing to the emerging field of visual criminology, this article explores current practices around photography of prisoners in the everyday contexts of the prison space. Drawing on a qualitative study conducted with prisoners, prison guards, and probation officers in 3 Portuguese prisons, we analyse how different social actors construct the criminal body. This construction is explored through the meanings attributed to prisoners’ photographic portraits used for their identification. In particular, we discuss how their photographic documentation acts as a classification device and a visual representation of the criminal. We argue that this representation, by portraying elements of unworthiness, unpleasantness and immutability, play a significant role on parole board’s decisions and produce an embodied sense of identity and perpetuation of stigma. Criminality, body, photography, parole, prison.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © Sage Publications. This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) will be available online via Sage Publications at https://doi.org/10.1177/1748895818800747 - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Body, criminality, parole, photography, prison
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV1 Criminology
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Science and Public Policy
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2018 16:01
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2021 14:15
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/5216

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