Video Links from Prison: Court “Appearance” within Carceral Space – 2018

Prisoners increasingly appear in court from spaces of incarceration, linked by video technologies, and remote from the physical courtroom in which the legal proceedings take place. During these video-linked court appearances, prisoners are immersed within the oppressive aesthetics of detention, rather than in the dignified courtroom we idealize. This article examines prisoners’ sensorial experience of prison video studios and the impact such space has on their encounters with law. Video link technologies are examined as symptomatic of the sensory bias to sight that ignores the significance of the other senses, diminishing prisoners’ opportunities for engagement with and expressive participation in legal procedure.

Carolyn McKay
Law, Culture and the Humanities, 2018