Synopsis:This thesis endeavors to study the living conditions of Norwegian pre-trial prisoners subject to restrictions. These prisoners were virtually never permitted to associate with each other, nor allowed contact with family or friends, in order to mitigate risks to the investigation. Research shows that remand custody puts a strain on inmates. Solitary confinement (isolation) and lack of human contact can have an adverse effect on an inmate's physical and mental health. Three out of four suicides in prison are committed during remand custody. The prison staff makes a considerable effort to counteract these effects. However, the network of relational elements in which these interactions take place is especially peculiar. This thesis proposes the following research question regarding said network:
Who are the actors, and how do they influence the actor-network of isolation for remand prisoners under restrictions?
In attempting to answer this question I utilize actor-network theory (ANT), which analyzes structural entanglements involving both humans and non-humans actors, and thereby welcome non-human actors into the realm of social science. Actor-network theory is also unique for its radical relationalism. Applying ANT to prisoner isolation networks provides a fresh perspective on remand prisoners and reveals actors previously not sufficiently recognized in relevant literature.
Keywords: Prisoner, isolation, Actor-network theory, translation, relationalism.