Tali R Ziv

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Pennsylvania, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9446

Approve Date

April 18, 2017

Project Title

Ziv, Tali Rosenman, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'The Politics of Rehabilitation: Correction, Care and Psychic Life in the Re-entry of the Philadelphia Poor,' supervised by Dr. John Jackson Jr.

Preliminary abstract: As the growth of the US carceral state has become subject to increasing political scrutiny, an unexpected coalition of liberals and conservatives has proposed ‘reentry and rehabilitation’ programming as an alternative. These programs forge complex reconfigurations of community parole monitoring, ‘behavioral health’ treatment, and vocational training. Philadelphia, the largest city with the nation’s top incarceration and poverty rate, received a three million dollar MacArthur grant in 2016 to reduce its prison population largely through such diversion and rehabilitation alternatives. As the move to rehabilitate is pushed to the fore of the national agenda, my project asks: What are individuals recovering from and rehabilitating to in postindustrial Philadelphia? With neither a new industry to work in, nor comprehensive benefit programs available, much of the same population that has been cyclically incarcerated is being offered community diversion programs that increasingly emphasize behavioral health care. To understand this emergent transition, this project asks: how is reentry and diversion programming filling the social and political-economic gaps left by the shrinking ‘prisonfare’ (Waquant 2010) state, and what effects will this transition have on the psychic lives of those being rehabilitated in its wake? Working with the city institutions managing these rehabilitative efforts and the community treatment centers to which they refer clients, I will examine the political economic and existential realities of reentry and rehabilitation within the context of historical urban poverty management. Engaging with urban, political and psychological anthropology, my project interrogates the long term, complex relationship between the state, its markets and the psychic life of the subject.