The Criminalisation of Asylum Seekers and Asylum Policy
Prison Service Journal, 175: 43-49, 2008
7 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2012
Date Written: 2008
Despite its primacy in political debate the issue of asylum has been largely ignored by criminologists within the United Kingdom. This paper discusses how legislative and discursive responses to asylum seekers and refugees have reconceptualised such individuals as criminal, dangerous and deviant. The policy response to asylum appears to mirror the trend of increasingly punitive crime control mechanisms employed within the criminal justice field. Furthermore, it is suggested that discursive practice has served to construct a mythic image of a deviant and criminal asylum seeking population that has enabled the justification of increasingly restrictive and draconian legislation and policy. This paper utilizes criminological and penal theory to explain such developments. As such it is argued that current policy developments can only make sense if asylum seekers are problematized as deviant and dangerous.
Keywords: Asylum seekers, Refugees, Criminal Justice Policy
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