Articles | Volume 76, issue 1
Geogr. Helv., 76, 65–73, 2021

Special issue: Geographies of carcerality: explorations across securitization...

Geogr. Helv., 76, 65–73, 2021

Standard article 16 Mar 2021

Standard article | 16 Mar 2021

Social work in confinement: the spatiality of social work in carceral settings

Marina Richter and Julia Emprechtinger

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Cited articles

Aday, R. H. and Krabill, J. J.: The silenced emotion: Older women and grief in prison, in: Handbook of social justice in loss and grief: Exploring diversity, equity, and inclusion, edited by: Harris, D. L. and Bordere, T. C., Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, New York, 138–153, 2016. 
Andrews, G. J. and Shaw, D.: Clinical geography: nursing practice and the (re)making of institutional space, J. Nurs. Manage., 16, 463–473,, 2008. 
Bauwens, A. and Roose, R.: What is social about criminal justice social work in Belgium, Eur. J. Social Work, 20, 640–650, 2017. 
Becker-Lenz, R., Busse, S., Ehlert, G., and Müller-Hermann, S. (Eds.): Professionalität in der sozialen Arbeit: Standpunkte, Kontroversen, Perspektiven, Springer VS, Wiesbaden, 2013. 
BfS – Bundesamt für Statistik: Justizvollzugseinrichtungen, available at: (last access: 12 May 2020), 2019a. 
Short summary
The conditions of social work in prisons are seldomly researched. In particular, we focus on its spatial conditions as it works with and for people who are confined, but it is also carried out under conditions of confinement. Based on insights from two prisons in Switzerland we analyse these conditions by focusing on spaces, bodies and emotions. The materiality of the prison translates into the prison logics and enforces them in complex ways on the bodies of prisoners as well as social workers.