Penal tourism can be traced through what is often referred to as a dark tourism that involves encounters with and memorialization of death and destruction (Carrigan 2014: 237). Dark tourism is reflected in penal tours such as Alcatraz in San Francisco, Pol Pot’s secret prison in Cambodia or the Carleton County Gaol, and gallows in Ottawa that display and narrate, among other things, the torments suffered and the penal hardships of given eras and places (see also Strange and Kempa 2003). Given their prevalence worldwide, an emergent penal tourism scholarship has begun to highlight the cultural and visual significance of such tours. For example, Schrift (2004), looking at tourism as a form of ritualized performance, argues that the Angola prison rodeo serves as a public forum to display prisoners as the “animalistic inmate other” that capitalizes on cultural differences for the spectators.
- Criminal Justice
- Indigenous People
- Social Distance
- Penal System
- Penal Practice
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See Stone (2006), as well as Bowman and Pezzullo (2009), for a more complex consideration of “dark tourism.” Generally, the authors argue that what is considered dark tourism does not necessarily fit into black and white categories, particularly given the historical thanatoptic tradition of such visits that serve moral, spiritual, ideological, and even aesthetic rewards.
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Chartrand, V. (2017). Penal Tourism of the Carceral Other as Colonial Narrative. In: Wilson, J., Hodgkinson, S., Piché, J., Walby, K. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Prison Tourism. Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-56135-0_32
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