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NCJ Number: 73914 Find in a Library
Title: Image of the Family - A Haven for Maghrebians Prisoners
Journal: Annales de Vaucresson  Dated:special issue (1979)  Pages:267-289
Author(s): J Costa-Lascoux
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 23
Format: Article
Language: French
Country: France
Annotation: This paper focuses on the role which the image of their families plays in giving foreign inmates in a French prison unexpected strength in coping with the loneliness and harshness of prison life.
Abstract: French social workers and researchers have a special interest in studying the cultures and personal characteristics and needs of foreign workers, who represent a sizable and indispensable addition to France's work force. As a part of this continuing research, a sample of 246 foreign inmates in a French correctional institution were surveyed, 132 of whom were North Africans, more specifically Maghrebians. Although the Maghrebian sample was far from homogeneous in personal characteristics and in committing offenses, all Maghrebian inmates -- most of whom were under 25 years of age -- shared a supportive relationship with their families, which alleviated prison conditions and gave them an unexpected advantage over their French fellow inmates. Tangible evidence of these unbroken family ties was a continuous flow of mail from home -- letters which the Maghrebian inmates showed the social workers engaged in this research and packages as well. The French inmates, whose families had often cut them off because of their crimes, envied and resented this advantage. The researchers had hypothesized that these marginal individuals would be doubly handicapped in a foreign prison: instead they found them better able to cope than their French counterparts. Such unexpected findings emphasize how many cultural differences remain to be bridged to promote acculturation. Twenty-eight endnotes contain bibliographic references.
Index Term(s): Correctional institutions (juvenile); Ethnic groups; Families of inmates; Foreign inmates; France; Juvenile detention; Social workers; Socioculture
Note: Paper presented at the International Colloquium of Vaucresson, May 30-June 1, 1979.
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