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JailcareFinding the Safety Net for Women behind Bars$
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Carolyn Sufrin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520288669

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520288669.001.0001

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Cultivating Ambiguity

Cultivating Ambiguity

Normalizing Care in the Jail Clinic

(p.81) 3 Cultivating Ambiguity

Carolyn Sufrin

University of California Press

This chapter looks at how jail health workers are constantly confronted with the incoherence of the ostensibly coherent domains of carcerality and biomedical care. Such attention to ambiguity in clinic workers' actions and relationships was the essence of jailcare—a kind of care that grapples with inequality writ large. The ambiguity of jailcare asks fundamental questions about the moral worthiness of prisoners receiving care—people who, on the one hand, have ostensibly violated legal-social norms and may be seen as less deserving of services; and who, on the other hand, are marginalized by poverty, addiction, and racism, and deserve care because of their structural vulnerability.

Keywords:   ambiguity, jail health workers, jail clinic staff, carcerality, biomedical care, inequality, moral worthiness, structural vulnerability

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