Dean Marie-Eve Sylvestre and co-authos Nicholas Blomley (Simon Fraser University) and Céline Bellot (Université de Montréal) have been awarded the 2021 W. Wesley Pue Book Prize by the Canadian Law and Society Association for their 2020 book Red Zones: Criminal Law and the Territorial Governance of Marginalized People.
Red Zones offers a detailed look at court-imposed territorial restrictions and other bail and sentencing conditions that are increasingly issued in the context of criminal proceedings. A “red zone” or a “no-go” order is a condition of release imposed by the police or the court in a bail or probation order that prevents an individual from entering or being found within a specific perimeter or place. Red zones can range from a small restriction, such as “not being within the 300 block of East Hastings Street”, to something much larger, such as a restriction on entering a whole downtown area.
The authors conducted extensive fieldwork in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver to document the devastating impact these restrictions can have on the marginalized populations – the homeless, drug users, sex workers and protesters – who depend on public spaces. The book demonstrates how red zones can create a form of legal territorialization, inverting traditional expectations of justice and reshaping our understanding of criminal law and punishment.
The W. Wesley Pue Book Prize is awarded annually to a leading work in Canadian socio-legal scholarship. This year’s committee reviewed nearly 30 books and was unanimous in choosing Red Zones as the winner, noting that the book exemplifies creative, engaging, and thoughtful socio-legal scholarship.
Congratulations to Dean Sylvestre and her colleagues, Professor Blomley and Professor Bellot, on this exceptional achievement!