This book tells the story of Chinese drug detainees who have been incarcerated for illicit drug use. It documents their experiences of being arrested and imprisoned as well as their lives after release. Behind their painful experiences is a fundamental contradiction between the unrealistically ideal party propaganda, which is made according to ‘exemplary norms’ (Bakken 2000), and the actual everyday practices of police officers and detention facility and prison officers, which are based on a variety of practical norms guided by different bureaucratic rules and regulations. This book is first and foremost about a failed system of rehabilitation, but also bears on a more general system that drug detainees perceive as hypocritical in contemporary China.
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