Special edition (December 2018)

Decolonising Prison

This special edition of SACQ seeks to explore how neoliberal globalization retards social justice advancement towards real prison reform. Emerging societies and vulnerable communities in the developed world continue to bear the brunt of incarceration, violent policing and other forms of institutionalisation. Globalization of incarceration and penitentiary systems in both the developing and the developed world do nothing to challenge criminalization of poverty. Instead, progress is marked by advances in incarceration technologies. In thinking of prison along decolonization terms, the special edition is interested in questions of how penitentiary systems endure; how they live past colonial independence, survive transitional justice mechanisms. Why is decarceration not part of the decolonization project? Why are societies open to “improving” or technologizing incarceration and not rethinking crime and punishment? So, how do improved technologies of incarceration and neoliberal policies build on the entrenched ideas about crime and society?

 This special edition invites papers that analyse the social aspects of prisons from diverse perspectives; particularly class, gender, race and location. We are interested in various aspects of incarceration, colonialism, globalism and penitentiary systems; and examinations of prison and/in popular culture, sexualities/masculinities, criminalization and incarceration, poverty and colonial penitentiary systems and their effects on post-colonial societies. We particularly seek papers authored by practitioners that address prison conditions in South Africa, awaiting trial prisoners, criminalization of poor communities, ex-offender experiences and access to legal representation.

 South African Crime Quarterly is an inter-disciplinary peer-reviewed journal that promotes professional discourse and the publication of research on the subjects of crime, criminal justice, crime prevention, and related matters including state and non-state responses to crime and violence. South Africa is the primary focus for the journal but articles that reflect research and analysis from other African countries are considered for publication, if they are of relevance to South Africa (authors should make such relevance clear).

 Expressions of interest: Please submit an abstract of one page or less, in which you set out the themes to be explored in your proposed article. Abstracts should be submitted to the guest editor Nontsasa Nako: by 25 July 2018.

 Authors of accepted abstracts will be invited to submit completed papers for double-blind peer review. Full papers should be between 3000 and 6000 words (including end notes) and should follow the SACQ editorial guidelines, which are available here (

 Deadline for submitting abstracts: 25 July 2018

Deadline for submitting papers:  15 September 2018