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Inviting Papers for a Symposium on Immigration Detention

Law & Society Review Symposium: Facing Immigration Detention
Revised Submission Deadline: February 15, 2020

Immigration detention is one of the most pressing civil and human rights issues of our time that affects millions of migrants around the world. The theme of this special symposium issue, Facing Immigration Detention, is understanding the causes, conditions, and consequences of immigration detention around the world. This Special Issue is dedicated to advancing public knowledge about how immigration detention has expanded, its role in immigration enforcement, its societal impacts, and its intersections with the criminal justice system. The Special Issue seeks to bring together innovative research that will guide the next generation of detention studies and inform policy debates in this area.  

To be considered, the work must engage with theory, offer empirical analysis, and make clear contributions to socio-legal studies. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

Causes of Expansion:
            legal and policy changes that expand the number and type of migrants subject to immigration detention.
            role of local governments and the private prison industry in changing the demand for detention bed spaces.
            administrative and judicial decision-making processes that impact the number and type of migrants eligible for release from detention.

Conditions of Confinement:
            treatment of detainees, their lived experiences, and the consequences of confinement conditions.
            experiences of detainee populations that are less visible and less accessible to the public due to their demographic, social, or legal status (examples include non-English and non-Spanish speaking detainees, children, and transgender detainees).  
            backgrounds, trainings, attitudes, and behaviors of correctional staff that shape the conditions of confinement for detainees.  

Consequences of Detention:
            effect of detention on social, economic, and relational well-being outcomes at the family or community level.
            civic and democratic costs of detention, such as the production of delegitimizing beliefs about legal authorities, distrust in government, and cynicism about democratic institutions and the rule of law.
            deterrence effects of detention, such as the use of detention to discourage prospective migrants from attempting to cross the border or to discourage detainees from pursuing legal claims of relief from deportation.

For a recent Annual Review article on the key themes of the symposium, see:
Author Guidelines 

Manuscripts submitted to the Law & Society Review must not be under consideration by another publication. All manuscripts should include the following content, easily identifiable as such by readers.

1.           A literature review section that situates the research question in a broader socio-legal literature.
2.           A data and methods section that describes the data used to answer the research question.  
3.           A results section that presents and discusses all research findings. 

Law & Society Review will consider submissions between 8,000 and 16,000 words in length, inclusive of tables, figures, references, notes, abstract and title. The editor reserves the right to reject without review manuscripts that are longer than 16,000 words or shorter than 8,000 words.

Submission Process for the Special Symposium

All manuscripts submitted for the Special Issue will undergo double-blind peer review. To be considered for inclusion in the Special Issue, articles should be submitted by February 15, 2020.

1.           Prepare your article in accordance with Law & Society Review’s Author Guidelines and most recently updated Stylesheet (
2.           Submit your article as regular submission to Law & Society Review through ScholarOne: During the submission process, select the option to indicate that the article is part of a special issue. 
3.           As soon as your article has been submitted through ScholarOne, email the Guest Editor, Emily Ryo ( to inform her of your submission. Your email should contain the subject line: “LSR Special Issue Submission.” Indicate in your email the article title, the submission date, and the assigned manuscript number. 

Peer review is a time-consuming process. Very few papers eventually published in the Review are accepted without revision, so authors should expect to engage in revisions in response to reviewer comments. Selected articles that have successfully undergone the peer review process will appear in print between 2020 and 2022.  

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