The Māori experience of colonisation is paralleled by struggles of Indigenous peoples in other settler states which have also been systematically brutalised and marginalised by state policies and practices, and where they continue to be over-represented in prison populations. This chapter will focus on the over-representation of Māori women in prison in New Zealand and particularly look at the experience of broader forms of social confinement and silencing. In better understanding patterns of confinement and incarceration of Māori women we are able to map the reach of prisons into whānau and communities and the construction of a feminised criminalised Indigenous identity. One of the explicit narratives of the paper will be how the experience of removal, dispossession, dismissal, disconnection and deprivation contributes to and sustains the transfer of prison experience across generations. A central feature of the chapter will be drawing on those with lived experience of incarceration to speak to and give insight into both their incarcerated condition, their future individual and collective aspirations as well as reflecting on the art of decarceration. Recognising incarcerated women as experts of their own condition provides a platform to inform decarceration strategies. The privileging of this status and the need for radical honesty in engaging with systemic racialised injustice means we may be able to move beyond simply describing a condition towards new creative possibilities for sustained transformative change that helps create and sustain community flourishing.
- Wāhine Māori and incarceration
- Structural violence
- Symbolic violence
- Systemic violence
- Violence continuum
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout
Purchases are for personal use onlyLearn about institutional subscriptions
Andrae, D., McIntosh, T., & Coster, S. (2016). Marginalised: An insider’s view of the State, State policies in New Zealand and Gang formation. Critical Criminology, 25, 119–135.
Arrighi, G., & Moore, J. W. (2001). Capitalist development in world historical perspective. In R. Albritton, M. Itoh, R. Westra, & A. Zuege (Eds.), Phases of capitalist development: Booms, crises and globalizations (pp. 56–75). London: Palgrave Macmillan UK.
Bourdieu, P. (1980). The logic of practice. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction: A social critique of the judgement of taste. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Bourdieu, P., & Wacquant, L. (2002 ). An invitation to reflexive sociology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Cunneen, C., & Porter, A. (2017). Indigenous peoples and criminal justice in Australia. In A. Deckert & R. Sarre (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook of Australian and New Zealand criminology, crime and justice. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Jackson, M. (2016). Moana Jackson: Facing the truth about the wars. Retrieved from https://e-tangata.co.nz/history/moana-jackson-facing-the-truth-about-the-wars/.
Kaba, M., & Hayes, K. (2018). A jailbreak of the imagination: Seeing prisons for what they are and demanding transformation. Retrieved from https://truthout.org/articles/a-jailbreak-of-the-imagination-seeing-prisons-for-what-they-are-and-demanding-transformation/.
Marx, K. (1979). The eighteenth brumaire of Louis Bonaparte Karl Marx-Frederick Engels collected works. New York: International Publishers, 11, 99–197.
McCloud, A. (2015). Prison abolition and grounded justice. UCLA Law Review, 62, 1156–1239.
McIntosh, T. (2002). Death in the margins: Riding the periphery. Unpublished PhD Thesis, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
McIntosh, T. (2011). Marginalisation: A case study. In T. McIntosh & M. Mulholland (Eds.), Māori and social issues (pp. 263–282). Wellington, New Zealand: Huia.
McIntosh, T., & Radojkovic, L. (2012). Exploring the nature of the intergenerational transfer of inequalities experienced by young Māori people in the criminal justice system. In D. Brown (Ed.), Indigenising knowledge for current and future generations (pp. 38–48). Auckland, New Zealand: Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga.
McIntosh, T., & Coster, S. (2017). Indigenous insider knowledge and prison identity. Counterfutures, 3, 69–99.
McIntosh, T., & Workman, K. (2017). Māori and prison. In A. Deckert & R. Sarre (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook of Australian and New Zealand criminology, crime and justice (pp. 725–735). Cham, UK: Springer International Publishing.
Mikaere, A. (2011). Colonising myths – Māori realities: He rukuruku whakaaro. Wellington, New Zealand: Huia Publishers and Te Wānanga o Raukawa.
Mills, C. W. (1959). The sociological imagination. New York: Oxford University Press.
New Zealand Herald. (2009). Māori resistance not terrorism – Moana Jackson. [Online]. Retrieved from http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/30691/Maori-resistance-not-terrorism-Moana-Jackson.
Nixon, R. (2015). Slow violence, gender, and the environmentalism of the poor. In P. Nayar (Ed.), Postcolonial studies: An anthology (p. 515). West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd..
Quijano, A. (2000). Coloniality of power and Eurocentrism in Latin America. International Sociology, 15(2), 215–232.
Scheper-Hughes, N., & Bourgois, P. (2004). Introduction: Making sense of violence. In N. Scheper-Hughes & P. Bourgois (Eds.), Violence in war and peace: An anthology (pp. 1–27). Malden, UK: Blackwell Publishing.
Speed, S. (2019). Incarcerated stories: Indigenous women migrants and violence in the settler-capitalist state. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.
Stanley, E. (2016). The road to hell: State violence against children in postwar New Zealand. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University Press.
Editors and Affiliations
© 2020 The Author(s)
About this chapter
Cite this chapter
McIntosh, T., Curcic, M. (2020). Prison as Destiny? Descent or Dissent?. In: George, L., Norris, A.N., Deckert, A., Tauri, J. (eds) Neo-Colonial Injustice and the Mass Imprisonment of Indigenous Women. Palgrave Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Indigeneity and Criminal Justice. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-44567-6_11
Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
Print ISBN: 978-3-030-44566-9
Online ISBN: 978-3-030-44567-6