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NCJ Number: 51465 Find in a Library
Title: YOUTHS IN PRISON - 'THEY BURY US'
Author(s): J P MONTARON
Corporate Author: Editions Du Seuil
France
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 255
Sponsoring Agency: Editions Du Seuil
Paris 6, France
Sale Source: Editions Du Seuil
27, Rue Jacob
Paris 6,
France
Type: Statistics
Language: French
Country: France
Annotation: COMPOSITIONS WRITTEN BY YOUNG PRISONERS ON EVERY ASPECT OF PRISON LIFE AND EDITED BY A PRISON INSTRUCTOR GIVE THE GENERAL PUBLIC AN INSIDER'S VIEW OF THE JUVENILE DETENTION SYSTEM IN FRANCE.
Abstract: THE COMPOSITIONS WERE PART OF A TESTING PROCEDURE FOR YOUTHS AS THEY ENTERED THE INSTITUTION. YOUTHS COULD WRITE ON THE TOPIC OF THEIR CHOICE, BUT MANY HANDED IN BLANK PAPERS OR EXPLAINED IN WRITING WHY THEY DID NOT WISH TO WRITE ANYTHING. EXCERPTS OF THE COMPOSITIONS, ALONG WITH COMMENTARIES DESCRIBE EVENTS LEADING TO THEIR ARREST, DEALINGS WITH POLICE, APPEARANCES BEFORE THE JUDGE, ARRIVAL AT THE PRISON, PRISON REGULATIONS, AND ASPECTS OF DAILY LIFE IN THE INSTITUTIONS. THE PRISONERS EXPRESSED THEIR ATTITUDES TOWARD SOCIETY AND THEIR CONFINED STATE, AS WELL AS THEIR HOPES AND FEARS. WHILE SOME DREAMED OF A STABLE FUTURE WITH A JOB AND FAMILY, OTHERS SHOWED FEELINGS OF ANTAGONISM FOR A SOCIAL SYSTEM WHICH THEY FELT HAD HANDICAPPED THEM. THE JUVENILE DETENTION SYSTEM WAS SEEN AS BEING NOT ONLY UNJUST, BUT ALSO INEFFECTIVE; THE MAJORITY OF OFFENSES WERE MINOR, AND DID NOT CALL FOR IMPRISONMENT; MANY INCIDENTS OF POLICE BRUTALITY WERE REPORTED, PARTICULARLY BY FOREIGNERS. MOST YOUTHS CAME FROM POOR BACKGROUNDS, AND MANY WERE FOREIGNERS SEEKING WORK IN FRANCE. THE INSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM TENDED TO FORCE THESE YOUTHS INTO A CYCLE OF CRIME AND IMPRISONMENT, AS IT PROVIDED THEM WITH LITTLE OR NO PROFITABLE TRAINING OR THERAPEUTIC SERVICES. ONLY THOSE WHOSE FAMILIES COULD PROVIDE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE WERE ABLE TO TAKE CLASSES, AS THE OTHERS NEEDED TO WORK IN THE PRISON TO EARN MONEY FOR THEIR PERSONAL NEEDS. DESPAIR LED TO ACTS OF REVOLT AND EVEN SUICIDE, AS COULD BE SEEN IN A 22-MONTH PERIOD (SEPTEMBER 1971) WHEN A GENERAL PRISON REVOLT AS WELL AS A STRIKE BY PRISON GUARDS OCCURRED IN FRANCE. THESE EVENTS WERE FOLLOWED BY INEFFECTIVE REFORMS AND A RENEWED TIGHTENING OF REGULATIONS (JUNE 1974), AND IN JUNE 1975 THE PRISONERS WERE STILL LIVING IN AN ATMOSPHERE OF TENSION, HOSTILITY, AND ANTICIPATION IN WHICH ANOTHER REVOLT APPEARED IMMINENT. STATISTICS ARE PROVIDED ON INMATES' PRIOR EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT, TRAINING AND EDUCATION WITHIN THE INSTITUTION, SOCIAL BACKGROUNDS OF INMATES, AND RATES OF RECIDIVISM. (INL)
Index Term(s): Correctional Officers; Correctional reform; Corrections statistics; France; Inmate attitudes; Inmate grievances; Inmate vocational training; Juvenile correctional facilities; Prison disorders
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51465

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