Enforcement of new - or relatively new - administrative powers targeting control and criminalization of behaviour has become increasingly common in Italian cities in recent years. Defined as "ordinanze sindacali", Mayors' Administrative Orders (MAOs) have traditionally been among the powers available to mayors to regulate urban life. Under a new national law passed in 2008, their use to control undesirable behaviour ranging from minor social and physical incivilities to prostitution and social problems like begging and vagrancy has become increasingly common. In this paper, using data from our own research and from national and local studies, we discuss these orders under a new perspective, showing how they have been used in Italy to criminalize statuses and behaviours of a specific vulnerable social group: namely legal and illegal immigrants. We describe the main features of these administrative tools, their complex interactions with the criminal justice system and the immigration laws, and the mechanisms through which they target irregular and regular immigrants and their use of public space. We contextualize their enforcement in Italian cities in the broader development of exclusionary policies against immigrants and in the more general tendency to increase criminalization of groups and behaviours that seem to be part of a common punitive turn in many Western countries.

Controlling immigrant: The latent function of Italian administrative orders

Rossella Selmini;Stefania Crocitti
2017

Abstract

Enforcement of new - or relatively new - administrative powers targeting control and criminalization of behaviour has become increasingly common in Italian cities in recent years. Defined as "ordinanze sindacali", Mayors' Administrative Orders (MAOs) have traditionally been among the powers available to mayors to regulate urban life. Under a new national law passed in 2008, their use to control undesirable behaviour ranging from minor social and physical incivilities to prostitution and social problems like begging and vagrancy has become increasingly common. In this paper, using data from our own research and from national and local studies, we discuss these orders under a new perspective, showing how they have been used in Italy to criminalize statuses and behaviours of a specific vulnerable social group: namely legal and illegal immigrants. We describe the main features of these administrative tools, their complex interactions with the criminal justice system and the immigration laws, and the mechanisms through which they target irregular and regular immigrants and their use of public space. We contextualize their enforcement in Italian cities in the broader development of exclusionary policies against immigrants and in the more general tendency to increase criminalization of groups and behaviours that seem to be part of a common punitive turn in many Western countries.
EUROPEAN JOURNAL ON CRIMINAL POLICY AND RESEARCH
Rossella Selmini; Stefania Crocitti
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/706816
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