Private detention and the immigration industrial complex

Roxanne Doty, Elizabeth Shannon Wheatley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


This study draws upon the insights of Michel Foucault to examine the contemporary immigration industrial complex in the United States. We focus on the involvement of private prison corporations in this complex, as well as the factors that have been essential to its creation and that perpetuate its continuance. We argue that four key aspects of the system (the legal apparatus, worldviews/ideas, private corporations, and webs of influence) converge to create an immigration industrial complex and that this complex functions as an economy of power that works to manage the existing system and discourages fundamental reform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-443
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Political Sociology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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