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CJC Event - Dr. Monish Bhatia (Birkbeck College, University of London)

Location: MS Teams

Title: 'Gendered Harms of Crimmigration: Migrant Women's Narratives and Experiences of the Criminal Justice and Punishment in the UK.'

Abstract: There is now an hybrid system put in place that draws-in the exclusionary elements of both immigration and criminal justice – explained through the concept of “crimmigration” (Stumpf, 2006). The scholarship in this area is still developing and academics in Britain continue to explore the issues concerning ‘race’ and racism, colour-blindness and deepening reach of racial technologies in criminal justice, migration control and border enforcement. There is one aspect, nevertheless, that has not yet received sufficient scholarly scrutiny – i.e. gender. Within the literature (Britain and internationally, both) limited attention is given to the implications of crimmigration controls on women, and ways in which the system (directly and indirectly) inflicts racialised-gendered harms. The aim of the paper is to address this void and analyse the impact of policies/procedures, and subjugation of women that occurs due to their gender, race, class, familial and immigration status. By bringing the lived experiences of undocumented women (including those who are illegalised and refused asylum) to the forefront, the article uncovers the treatment they receive at the hands of immigration, police and courts, imprisonment and punishment, and life post-release. The analysis pays close attention to the predicaments of women avoiding detection by the authorities, and also the impact of separation on mothers and children (i.e. separation that occurs when mothers are incarcerated) and conditions post-sentence. The data is drawn from three research projects (2008-2014; 2015-2016; 2016-2018) and includes interviews with fifteen women and ten practitioners, participant observation and fieldnotes.

Bio: Monish Bhatia is a lecturer in criminology at Birkbeck, University of London. He is the co-editor of several books and issues including Media, Crime and Racism (Palgrave, 2018), Critical Engagements with Borders, Racisms and State Violence (Critical Criminology, 2020), and Race, Mental Health and State Violence (Race & Class, 2021).

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