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The prisoner citizen: juridification and the AIDS activist struggle for harm reduction in German prisons

Faust, Friederike

Año: 2021

For more than 30 years, AIDS activists have been fighting for harm reduction - i.e. needle and syringe programs, and opioid substitution treatment - in German prisons. From the 1990s onwards, international and national legal contexts emerged around HIV/AIDS, prisons, and drug use, significantly impacting activists´ engagements with the law. Based on archival research, interviews and observations of AIDS prison activism in (West) Germany, this paper explores how activism focused on enhancing access to a right to health for imprisoned people who inject drugs (PWID) has shifted from medical disobedience and radical critique to judicial action. Building on anthropological debates about biological citizenship and juridification, I argue that the citizenship status of prisoners has transformed with the juridification of health activism. Disobedient acceptance-based activism, morally calling upon human rights, evoked imprisoned PWID as self-determined and worthy members of the body politic. As judicialized activism adopts the biomedical discourse on drug ´addiction´, the prisoner is reconfigured into a deserving patient, whose rights are bound to the responsibility to normalize. Accounting for the varied means and channels through which prisoner biological citizenship is negotiated allows for better understanding the different and shifting responses to the unfolding epidemic from a heterogeneous European civil society.

Tipo documento:

Artículo

Número/Volumen:

31

Páginas:

17 - 29

Fuente:

CRITICAL PUBLIC HEALTH

Palabras clave:

Juridificación; Ciudadanía biológica; Reducción del daño; Prisiones; VIH; Sida

 

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Última actualización: 12/05/2021

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