There is a new centrality of the prison in the policies of social control. It is easy to conclude that the abolitionist strategy, which is manifestly failing, has unveiled that the revisionist penology which insisted upon the historical obsolescence of detention as punishment is scientifically erroneous. Personally, I think things are more complex. Maybe the time has come to critically review the abolitionist issue, above all today, faced with the dominance of a new ‘mass incarceration’.
Originally published in Pavarini, Massimo (2009) Castigar al enemigo. Criminalidad, exclusión e inseguridad. Quito: Flacso (pp. 127-143). Translated by Steven Kemp, University of Girona, Spain.