Dress Behind Bars: Prison Clothing as Criminality by Juliet Ash

By Juliet Ash

From nineteenth-century large arrows and black and white stripes to 20 first-century orange jumpsuits,  felony garments has either reflected and strengthened the ability of penal associations over prisoners’ lives. Vividly illustrated and in accordance with unique examine, together with  during the voices of the incarcerated,  this e-book is a pioneering background and research of felony gown, which demystifies the adventure of what it really is wish to be an imprisoned felony. Juliet Ash takes the reader on a trip from the construction of legal garments to the our bodies of its wearers. She uncovers a background characterised through waves of  reform, sandwiched among regimes that use garments as punishment and discovers  how inmates use their costume to surmount, subvert or continue to exist those punishment cultures. She finds the hoods, the mask, and crimson boxer shorts, close to nakedness, even twenty first-century "civvies" to be no longer  simply different forms of uniform yet political embodiments of the surveillance of  way of life.

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From near naked to uniforms 17 failure to pull the sleeve up on to her shoulder. She does not have shoes and is there to be pitied rather than considered ‘licentious’. The painting’s gendered image of prison dress raises issues about the representation of prisoners historically and in modern times, painted or photographed. Photographs of prisoners later in the nineteenth century demonstrate similar traits as this painting in 1817. In the nineteenth century, middle-class ‘domains of expertise’ – urban planning, criminology, public health – informed discourses surrounding the representation of ‘the working classes, colonised peoples, the criminal, poor, ill-housed, sick or insane [who] were constituted as the passive objects of knowledge.

4 Gender segregation continued through the nineteenth century in relation to the physical and sartorial divisions between men and women prisoners. Women prisoners’ clothing was markedly less regulated than that of men. But bodily punishment stripes, broad arrows and aprons 31 occurred as physical restraint, labelling and numbering as well as the use of cheap, coarse cloth and the ill-fitting nature of prison dress. The universal principle of denying prisoners their previous identity outside the prison was applied throughout the prison system in Britain, Europe and America.

And the prevention of escape’,14 it could also be discarded. ’15 He considered the possibility of chemical dyeing procedures that, although not adopted, were consistent with the bodily techniques of surveillance integral to his designs for the model prison. In 1863 in England some members of a Committee on Prison Discipline were in favour of marking prisoners with India ink. 16 Bodily markings and prison uniforms were thus integral to his ideas about the control of prisoners’ lives and identities and yet arbitrary in their application.

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