In the last decades, western countries have developed a set of policies and practices aimed both at crime prevention and social reassurance. Within this trend, the old-fashioned sanction of banishment has regained prominence. Banning orders, in particular, are widely used to remove from public spaces individuals who are deemed a threat to public safety and urban decorum. This article investigates the use of banning orders towards foreign defendants without a valid residence permit in an Italian criminal court. Based on empirical material collected during a one-year period of courtroom ethnography in Turin, this article sheds light on the rationales and objectives behind the use of banning orders. The interviews with courtroom actors reveal how banning orders have lost much of their preventive dimension to become an instrument of socio-urban control towards immigrants. This article invites future research to consider the role that urban management practices might play in the field of global mobility.
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© The Author(s) 2021.