Securitization and the Remand Population Explosion in Canada

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 10:58
Oral Presentation
Aaron DOYLE, Carleton University, Canada
Laura MCKENDY, Carleton University, Canada

We examine the processes that have led to the tripling of the pretrial population preventively incarcerated in Canadian provincial jails and remand centres while the sentenced population has been shrinking, and the shift towards a majority of people in provincial penal institutions now being people on remand denied bail. We consider the role of a culture of risk aversion influencing the process (Webster, Doob and Myers 2014) so that those on bail are “set up to fail” (Canadian Civil Liberties Association 2014) resulting in the pre-trial incarceration of large numbers of often-marginalized people on minor administrative breaches, in conditions of extreme overcrowding. These developments are situated as part of a broader trend of the expansion of preventive governance described in various literature on securitization, risk, surveillance, precrime, and community control, although distinctive features of the remand population explosion are also evident. Alternative ways of theorizing the remand population are evaluated, and consequences and implications explored.