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HypocrisyThe Tales and Realities of Drug Detainees in China$
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Vincent Shing Cheng

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9789888455683

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888455683.001.0001

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Prison Authority and the ‘Inmate Elites’

Prison Authority and the ‘Inmate Elites’

(p.79) 5 Prison Authority and the ‘Inmate Elites’

Vincent Shing Cheng

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter examines former drug detainees’ experiences of everyday life in the prisons. I look specifically at the power relationship between the detention officers and the powerful inmates (whom I referred to as the ‘inmate elites’) in laojiao/qiangge. On the basis of their power relations, this chapter argues that the prison officers’ concerns for maintaining control and the pressure on making profit had far superseded the concerns for drug rehabilitation. This further added to the former prisoners’ feelings of unfairness and injustice and more deeply entrenched the systematic hypocrisy.

Keywords:   Prison culture, prison administration, power, power relation, prison labour, convict labour, forced labour, prison gang

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