Care is not the first thing that comes in mind when thinking of the prison. In my master research I focused on care relations between prison officers and male inmates in the juvenile prison in Accra, Ghana. The research is located at the intersection of the anthropology of the state and debates on care. Focusing on care in prison aims at going beyond dichotomies of private/public, state/family and good/bad. Images and practices of care have made visible how ‘good care’ and ‘the’ prison, hence ‘the’ state is represented by prison officers. In their daily work officers negotiate boundaries between ‘state’ and ‘family’, that influence their conception of the prison within this dichotomy. A relational perspective on the state enables negotiation processes to be seen as central to the constitution of the prison. In my current doctoral project I expand my former research to the re-/production of statehood among state actors in the process of recruitment and training in state institutions in Ghana.