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Simonnot, Dominique


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Libération - France | 30/01/2006

French prisons

Pierre-Victor Tournier, a French researcher who specialises in penal policy, offers his reaction in an interview to Europe's new laws relating to incarceration. "For the Council of Europe, 'rules for prisoners should be conceived so as to ensure they lead their lives in a responsible manner and free of crime' ... What society expects is for prisoners to be rehabilitated so that they are able to lead normal lives once they get out. But how can one develop a sense of responsibility if he is prevented from taking any intitiative and treated like a two-year-old, as in French prisons? This is why the Council of Europe has recommended a wide range of measures to allow communication with the outside world, family members, close friends or the media; to give prisoners a say in their prison experience, as well as the right to discuss prison life with penitentiary authorities. Something that is not allowed in France."

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