Lisa Guenther


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Prison Beds and Compensated Man-Days: The Spatio-Temporal Order of Carceral Neoliberalism 

The Trousdale Turner Correctional Center is a 2,600-bed private prison owned and operated by CoreCivic, formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America. It is located in Hartsville, Tennessee, on the former site of the Hartsville Nuclear Plant and PowerCom Industrial Center. In this paper, I develop a critical genealogy of nuclear, industrial, and carceral power in the Hartsville site, focusing in particular on the production of the “prison bed” and the “compensated man-day” as monetizable units of carceral space-time. This logic of carceral neoliberalism does not primarily exploit the labor power of the prisoner, nor does it seek to discipline the subject or redeem their soul; rather, carceral neoliberalism targets criminalized populations for their potential to be warehoused. The recent rebranding of CCA as CoreCivic, a company whose mission is to provide “innovative solutions to meet some of governments’ most challenging real estate demands,” only compounds this financialization of human life and its inscription into the spatio-temporal order of carceral neoliberalism.

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