The resettlement net: ‘revolving door’ imprisonment and carceral (re)circulation

Cracknell, Matthew ORCID logoORCID: (2023) The resettlement net: ‘revolving door’ imprisonment and carceral (re)circulation. Punishment and Society, 25 (1) . pp. 223-240. ISSN 1462-4745 [Article] (doi:10.1177/14624745211035837)

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The Offender Rehabilitation Act (ORA) 2014 has extended post-release supervision to all individuals serving short sentences in England and Wales – a cohort who previously faced neglect within the criminal justice system. This empirical study uses a case study approach to explore the resettlement experiences of individuals subject to this new legislation, understanding how individuals circulate and re-cycle between a range of services and agencies in the community, further illuminating upon the reality of repeat ‘revolving door’ imprisonment. Drawing upon Cohen’s ‘net widening’ analogy, this article posits that collectively the array of services involved in an individual’s resettlement form a ‘resettlement net’, which segregates individuals in the community through control and surveillance functions, extending the carceral boundary of the prison firmly into the community. Welfare-orientated organisations become compelled to ‘braid’ welfare responses alongside penal functions in order to operate within the resettlement net. This article also explores some of the difficulties that individuals experience as they navigate the resettlement net, including informal forms of exclusion, and the wear and tear of the net, which undermines the rhetoric of care envisioned by this legislation, and drives individuals deeper into the mesh of carceral control.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Resettlement, re-entry, carceral mobility, net widening, punishment in society, revolving door imprisonment, short sentences, braiding, the resettlement net
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 33663
Notes on copyright: Cracknell, M. (2023). The resettlement net: ‘revolving door’ imprisonment and carceral (re)circulation. Punishment & Society, 25(1), 223–240.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
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Depositing User: Matt Cracknell
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2021 14:52
Last Modified: 12 May 2023 12:30

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