In our paper, we develop the hypothesis of a general call for high mobility and discuss the consequences of it regarding the legitimation of prison. First, we present the method we used for an analysis of the parliamentary documents of the Belgian penitentiary law. We then examine the contemporary social representations of mobility, looking for a definition of what is seen as being properly mobile, and show how intertwined social representations of space and time result in the prevalent vision of an inevitable and constant mobility. Next, we will thus discuss the importance of seeing mobility as much more than its material facet. Our following step will be to propose a formalization of the contemporary requisite for mobility. Through four imperatives (activity, activation, participation, adaptation), the mobilitarian ideal requires each person and organization to be constantly active, mobile, flexible, networking, etc. We argue that, today, we are all meant to be highly mobile. We will apply this theoretical framework to the legitimation of prison in the parliamentary documents of the 2005 Belgian Prison Act in which prison is open and porous, good inmates are described as dynamic individuals on the move, and the legitimate penitentiary system is a paradoxical mobilization system. We will conclude by discussing the need to reshape our vision of the prison, considering its apparently paradoxical relation with mobility.
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