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Red Zones

Red Zones
Criminal Law and the Territorial Governance of Marginalized People

  • Publication planned for: March 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from March 2020
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316635414


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About the Authors
  • In Red Zones, Marie-Eve Sylvestre, Nicholas Blomley, and Céline Bellot examine the court-imposed territorial restrictions and other bail and sentencing conditions that are increasingly issued in the context of criminal proceedings. Drawing on extensive fieldwork with legal actors in the criminal justice system, as well as those who have been subjected to court surveillance, the authors demonstrate the devastating impact these restrictions have on the marginalized populations - the homeless, drug users, sex workers and protesters - who depend on public spaces. On a broader level, the authors show how red zones, unlike better publicized forms of spatial regulation such as legislation or policing strategies, create a form of legal territorialization that threatens to invert traditional expectations of justice and reshape our understanding of criminal law and punishment.

    • Highlights the role of courts and legal actors working in the criminal justice system in the spatial governance of marginalized people in urban public spaces
    • Proposes an interdisciplinary outlook on punitive strategies used against different groups of individuals who use urban public spaces
    • Emphasizes the crucial role of space and time in governing marginalized people
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Red Zones is a highly original and ground-breaking book that compellingly reveals how marginalized peoples are increasingly governed through territory and time via criminal law and justice processes. Its rare combination of legal theory and rich empirical data will appeal to legal scholars, criminologists and geographers alike.' Randy K. Lippert, University of Windsor

    'A huge contribution to criminology and to urban geography, this book shows, with vast amounts of data, that low-level judicial proceedings such as bail act in a dysfunctional manner by imposing unrealistic spatial prohibitions on those who most need to access services and friends in stigmatized downtown areas. The far-ranging empirical research, carried out mainly in Vancouver and Montreal, is of great relevance not only across Canada but throughout North America, since the practice of imposing 'red zones' (spatial prohibitions) through probation, parole and other lower-court and police mechanisms has become ubiquitous.' Mariana Valverde, University of Toronto

    'A brilliant contribution to criminal law and criminal law theory! In their remarkable empirical and legal study on Red Zones, Marie-Eve Sylvestre and her colleagues, Nicholas Blomley and Céline Bellot, show how the quotidian forms of law's technical practices - such as bail and probation supervision - have a momentous impact on the administration of the criminal law, on punishment practices, and on our own understandings and expectations of justice. Chock full of insights about how these practices function to regulate the poor and create both spatial and temporal effects that make rights arguments and resistance far more difficult, Red Zones is a must read for anyone studying criminal law, criminal law theory, and policing.' Bernard E. Harcourt, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia University

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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: March 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316635414
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • contains: 14 b/w illus. 8 maps 28 tables
    • availability: Not yet published - available from March 2020
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    List of maps
    List of tables
    Table of cases
    Table of legislation
    1. Navigating the territories of the law
    Part I. Foundations:
    2. Law and territory, a legal geography
    3. 'Recognizances to keep the peace and be of good behaviour': the legal history of red zones and conditions of release
    Part II. Expansion:
    4. Territory widening
    5. The shifting and expanding terrain of criminal justice management
    Part III. Territorialization and its Consequences:
    6. Territorializing: how legal territory is made and justified
    7. Conditional life inside the red zone
    8. Red zoning politics
    9. Red zones in and out of the courtroom

  • Authors

    Marie-Eve Sylvestre, University of Ottawa
    Marie-Eve Sylvestre is Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa and holds the Research Chair on Criminal Law and Policy and the Regulation of Marginalized People. She is also the co-Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Law and Society and co-leads the Ottawa Hub for Harm Reduction. She currently acts as Justice Expert for the Commission of Inquiry into the relationships between Indigenous People and Public Services in Quebec. Her research focuses on the criminalization and regulation of poverty and social conflicts in urban public spaces, as well as their alternatives.

    Nicholas Blomley, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia
    Nicholas Blomley is Professor of Geography at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia. He is interested in the spatiality of legal practices and relationships, and the worldmaking consequences of such legal geographies. Much of his empirical work concerns the often oppressive effects of legal relations on marginalized and oppressed people. He is the author or co-editor of five books, including Law, Space, and the Geographies of Power (1994) and Rights of Passage: Sidewalks and the Regulation of Public Flow (2010).

    Céline Bellot, Université de Montréal
    Céline Bellot is Director of the Social Work School at the Université de Montréal and Director of the Observatory on Profiling (Observatoire des profilages). She is the Chair of the Center on Poverty and Social Exclusion (Centre sur la pauvreté et l'exclusion sociale) and the Committee on the State of Homelessness. She holds a Ph.D. in Criminology and her research focuses on issues of criminalization of poverty, including homeless populations, Indigenous populations, drug users and street youth.

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