Turnbull, S. (2021) Racial Innocence, Liberal Reformism, and Immigration Detention: Toward a Politics of Abolition. In: K. Struthers Montford and C. Taylor (eds.) Building Abolition: Decarceration and Social Justice, 29-42. Abingdon: Routledge.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

This chapter examines how racial innocence is embedded in and shapes the parameters of reform efforts around immigration detention. Using the United Kingdom as an example, it considers the importance of race and racism—as these intersect with other social relations of power—for understanding the policy and practice of immigration detention and recent reforms. As an expanding component of the carceral state, immigration detention primarily targets poor, racialized men and women and is reflective of systemic inequalities along interconnected lines of race, gender, sexuality, class, ability, and religion. The analysis shows how the abolition of immigration detention is intricately bound to prison abolition and broader movements toward social justice.