The Israeli legal regime in occupied East Jerusalem has increasingly home-arrested Palestinian children, while invoking legalistic welfare discursively reliant on principles of so-called child-protection. While criminologists, legal scholars, and social workers have defined home arrest as a “rehabilitative” alternative to punishment, children’s voices reveal that home arrest is a mundane penal technology used to penetrate a colonized childhood and home. Contextualizing this penal technology within settler-colonial violence, this article reveals how home arrest became an alternative mode of “lawfare,” a legal means of racialized structural violence targeting children. As the voices of children analyzed in this paper illustrate, home arrest invades, cages, and governs the native home and family to ultimately violate, debilitate, and paralyze the home-arrested child’s childhood and future.
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