Sarah Turnbull

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Legal Studies, University of Waterloo    

Sarah Turnbull
Faculty
Faculty

RESEARCH CLUSTERS

RESEARCH CLUSTERS

Sarah Turnbull

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Legal Studies, University of Waterloo

Dr. Sarah Turnbull is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies at the University of Waterloo. She has published in the areas of immigration detention, deportation, parole and reentry, and punishment. Dr Turnbull researches, teaches, and supervises in the areas of critical border and migration studies and border criminology; criminology and sociolegal studies; punishment, parole, and reentry; postcolonial, antiracist, and feminist thought; and qualitative research methods.

Dr. Turnbull’s current research focuses on two main areas: (1) immigration detention and deportation; and (2) punishment. She is interested in how race, gender, and other intersecting social relations of power shape migration control and penality, and how the control of borders and practices of punishment overlap.

Dr. Turnbull is completing a research project examining immigration detention and deportation in the United Kingdom (UK) that is based on ethnographic research at four immigration removal centres in the UK along with follow-up research with detained individuals who were released and/or deported. She is writing up this research as a book, tentatively titled Migration Penality: Detention and Deportation in Postcolonial Britain (Routledge). Dr. Turnbull is also starting a three-year SSHRC-funded study, Reforming Detention: Race, Gender, and Nation in the National Immigration Detention Framework. Using a Foucauldian genealogical approach, this project explores detention reform processes in Canada, looking critically at the National Immigration Detention Framework as a contemporary practice of (penal) reform.

An overlapping project that considers both punishment and immigration detention is the Prison Transparency Project, a collaborative study focusing on issues of carceral transparency and accountability. Initially funded through a three-year SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, the research team is now seeking a SSHRC Partnership Grant (directed by Prof Dawn Moore) to comparatively explore the cultures of transparency in Canada, Spain, and Argentina in relation to imprisonment and immigration detention.

Dr. Turnbull is also co-investigating (with Prof Laura Piacentini) the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on prisons in Canada and Scotland, focusing specifically on issues of systemic inequalities. This project, COVID-19 Justice as Penal Justice: Examining the Impacts of the Pandemic on Prisons in Canada and Scotland, is funded by a Strathclyde and Waterloo Joint Transatlantic Partnership Award.

Dr. Turnbull welcomes graduate students to contact her about their research interests on topics related to critical border and migration studies as well as criminology and sociolegal studies.

Select Publications

  • Dobson, R. and Turnbull, S. 2022. “In or Against the State? Hospitality and Hostility in Homelessness Charities and Deportation Practice.” International Journal of Law in Context 18(1): 25-40.
  • Turnbull, S. 2021. “Racial Innocence, Liberal Reformism, and Immigration Detention: Toward a Politics of Abolition.” In: K. Struthers Montford and C. Taylor (eds.) Building Abolition: Decarceration and Social Justice, 29-42. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Turnbull, S. 2019. “Living the Spectre of Forced Return: Negotiating Deportability in British Immigration Detention.” Migration Studies 7 (4): 513-532.
  • Turnbull, S. and Hasselberg, I. 2019. “Foreign National Prisoners: Precarity and Deportability as Obstacles to Rehabilitation.” In: P. Ugwudike, P. Raynor, F. McNeill, F. Taxman, C. Trotter, and H. Graham (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Rehabilitative Work in Criminal Justice, 800-811. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Turnbull, S. 2019. “The Uses and Limits of Photovoice in Research on Life After Immigration Detention and Deportation.” In: M. Deflem and D.M.D. Silva (eds.) Methods of Criminology and Criminal Justice Research. Sociology of Crime, Law, and Deviance 24: 151-164. Bingley: Emerald Publishing.
  • Turnbull, S. 2018. “Making Sense of the Shifting ‘Field’: Ethical and Practical Considerations in Researching Life After Immigration Detention.” In: A. Fili, S. Jahnsen, and R. Powell (eds.) Criminal Justice Research in an Era of Mass Mobility, 130-143. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Turnbull, S. 2018. “Starting Again: Life After Deportation from the United Kingdom.” In: S. Khosravi (ed.) After Deportation: Ethnographic Perspectives, 37-61. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Turnbull, S. 2018. “Living the Spectre of Forced Return: Negotiating Deportability in British Immigration Detention.” Migration Studies. Published online 17 July 2018.
  • Turnbull, S. 2017. “Immigration Detention and the Racialized Governance of Illegality in the United Kingdom.” Social Justice 44(1): 142-164.
  • Turnbull, S. 2017. “Immigration Detention and Punishment.” In: H.N. Pontell (ed.) Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice (online). Oxford: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190264079.013.231.
  • Turnbull, S. and Hasselberg, I. 2017. “From Prison to Detention: The Carceral Trajectories of Foreign-national Prisoners in the United Kingdom.” Punishment & Society 19(2): 135-154.
  • Turnbull, S. 2016. Parole in Canada: Gender and Diversity in the Federal System. Vancouver: UBC Press.

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