To keep drugs and weapons out and to generate security clearance, Ecuador’s prison administrations now demand the visual, digital, or physical strip searching of all adult citizens who establish contact with incarcerated subjects. The prison system may normalize such denuding and voyeuristic surveillance, but prison officers deny any sexual content in these procedures while satisfying their professional gatekeeping tasks—the maintenance of carceral boundaries effectively blurring any formal distinctions between voyeuristic desire and bureaucratic duty. The state’s securitization of the prison in an age of inmate-threat neutralization and administrative segregation expands the carceral boundary of denuding surveillance to include non-incarcerated subjects. Rampant “security sexualization” and its disavowal, I suggest, form a spectral aspect of prison governance currently on the rise across Ecuador and in a cross-hemispheric context.
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Chris Garces; Denuding Surveillance at the Carceral Boundary. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 July 2014; 113 (3): 447–473. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-2692146
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