Discipline unbound:patuxent, treatment and the colonization of law

Follis, Luca (2017) Discipline unbound:patuxent, treatment and the colonization of law. Law, Culture and the Humanities, 13 (1). pp. 56-80. ISSN 1743-8721

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Abstract

This article engages Michel Foucault’s thesis that post-sovereign law would be increasingly colonized by the disciplinary norm. It explores, through an analysis of prisoner litigation surrounding Maryland’s Patuxent Institution and its defective delinquency statute, how disciplinary power is enabled, understood, and resisted through law. I argue that Article 31B (as the defective delinquency statute was known) set up a zone of expert prerogative and discretion actively maintained and legitimated through jurisprudence. Yet, paradoxically, law also functioned as a conduit for resistance and contestation pitting the epistemological premises of discipline against the functions of legal jurisprudence and the foundations of criminal law. I contend that this dual character of law’s engagement with discipline (i.e., at once open to expert “colonization” and site of structural incompatibility and resistance) illustrates the intractability of the relationship between the disciplinary and law. That is, law both constitutes disciplinary space (and within this normative envelope, discipline can be “unbound”) and remains in a state of tension with the forms of power that develop within it (which by their very premises seek to exceed the limits law would place upon them).

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Law, Culture and the Humanities
Additional Information:
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Law, Culture and the Humanities, 13 (1), 2017, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2017 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Law, Culture and the Humanities: http://journals.sagepub.com/home/lch on SAGE Journals Online: http://journals.sagepub.com/
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3308
Subjects:
ID Code:
66943
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
02 Oct 2013 12:22
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
10 Jul 2020 03:04