Abstract

Among modern exclusionary strategies (state sponsored or otherwise), prison segregation—the isolation of individuals from general inmate populations—is a particularly camouflaged form of exclusion with considerable impact on identity formation. Drawing from extensive documentary and nominal sources, as well as 45 interviews with women having experienced segregation in Canadian prisons from 1995 to 2003, this paper argues that the regimented and predictable time-space continuum of the prison’s ‘ordinary’ life flies into pieces in segregation where (1) arbitrary timeframes, and (2) fluid and frugal spatiality keep women on the margin of collective memory. Such time/space configurations engender a loss of ascendancy on individual and collective sense of time/space, leading to the use of multifarious resistance strategies to negotiate personally suitable identities.

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