A prison or penitentiary is a place of detention; by extension, the term prison also indicates the Peine of imprisonment which can be inflicted with the Individu S which do not respect the standards of the company. In the majority of the Country, these standards are defined by the Loi S.
The people held in a prison are called Prisonnier S.
GoalsThe goals of the prisons vary according to the times and especially the companies. Most of the time, it acts:
- to protect the company from the dangerous elements.
- to discourage from people again making acts prohibited by the law
- to rehabilitate the prisoner so as to reintegrate it
- to relieve the victims
- to make conceal the political opponents. This goal is mainly aimed in the Dictature S, but the democracies, they-also, are sometimes shown to act in the same way with political militants.
- to prevent defendants escaping or from compromising their future lawsuit, one speaks then about Detention pending trial
Formerly, the prison was also used to lock up the mentally ills so as to isolate them from the company. Since, the majority of the countries have psychiatric hospitals. But the prisons contain a relatively important population people having mental disorders.
One allots mainly seven principles to the prison:
- correction : amendment, social replacement.
- classification : distribution in penal establishments according to various criteria (age, sex, gravity of the act, etc)
- modulation : where the course of the sorrow passes by various stages (loss of liberty, house arrest followed by release on parole before freedom)
- work : as obligation and as right (very condemned the right has to work more than the obligation to work)
- education : the purpose of the treatment of one condemned is its resocialisation. Erving Goffman will claim that, on the contrary, these total Institutions far from resocialiser the individuals, could cause at his place a Déculturation involving its incapacity to be rehabilitated at the ambient company.
- control : require a personnel specialized
- institutions appendices : one needs an assistance brought to the prisoner at the time of his coming out of prison, at the time of the real resocialisation.
The supervisory staff passed from five percent held in the middle of the XIXe century to thirty nowadays.
The role of the prisons in the HistoryThe role of the prison more or less changed through the History. Of a simple tool for retention in waiting of a sorrow, it became a sorrow in oneself. In certain countries (mainly the Democracy S), it is a tool having for objective to protect the company from its dangerous elements and them to reintegrate but it can also be used like tool of political pressure in more difficult contexts. In the facts, the reintegration is seldom fully reached.
Michel Foucault in his work To supervise and punish indicates that the use as pains sanctioning the delinquency is a recent phenomenon which was really instituted during the 19th century. Whereas before the prison was not useful that to retain the prisoners in waiting of a true sorrow, torment, execution or banishment. The prisoners were retained in the same space with their personal businesses and were to pay their food. The disorganization was such as the suspects of the same business could easily get along on a version of the facts before their lawsuit. The exercise of the justice of the time was a public thing. By showing the torture victims with crowd and while holding of the public executions, the king made the demonstration of his any power.
Michel Foucault quotes the large renfermement or the nave of insane the like particular examples of former loss of liberty at the time modern. Contrary to the prison which establishes a sorrow with the measurement of the fault, they were phenomena of exclusion where deviating populations (delinquent, insane, sick, orphan, wandering, prostitutes…) were locked up shovel-mixes apart from the glance with the decent people without other Ambition to make them disappear.
The emergence of the prison was done with a setting with the secrecy of the treatment of the delinquency. The public executions were held in increasingly discrete places until being completely withdrawn from the sight of crowd. The torments considered as barbarians were to be replaced by other thing. Foucault indicates that the choice of the prison was rather a choice by defect, to one time when the problems were still very mainly to punish the delinquent; the loss of liberty was the coercive technique most obvious and least barbarian which could be imagined. He affirms that as of the beginning the effectiveness of the prison was called into question.
The prison immediately evolved/moved, it became what Foucault names a disciplinary institution, its organization aiming at a total control of the prisoner by a discrete monitoring of every moment. It found in the idea of the Panoptique of Jeremy Bentham the perfect illustration of the prison novel method.
The analysis foucaldienne however was partially called in question and was made more complete, in particular with work of Sociologie of the prison experiment of Gilles Chantraine. For this author, if the Châtiment does not exist any more, it nevertheless left room to another shape of punishment of the body, taking a less violent form and in agreement with the values of the Western democracies. Moreover, just like the lettre de cachets of the old mode allowed it, the prison remains from a point of view of control of undesirable, poor and rebels of the company.
The ambitions for the prison evolved/moved with time. Little by little the idea that the prisoner was to repair the evil which it had made at the company pointed in the spirits. The imprisonment was thus to be accompanied by work, the delinquent paid in prison a debt, not with its victims but at the very whole company, that its behavior had injured. After having made its time and having paid to its debt the delinquent could arise bleached to take a new departure. There still the application of this ideal was not regarded as a success.
A fourth vision of the prison as place of rehabilitation finally appeared. The prison had then the ambition to change the delinquents to adapt them to the normal life in company. The strong idea was that of the rectification, to give an adequate form to delinquents who would have pushed through.
The prison of today is a heritage of these ideals which are not excluded, the prison is justified more or less according to the places and of the periods according to these four ideals of enfermement.
Legal aspectsToday, in the majority of the countries, the only authority being able to put in prison a person is the Justice. However, other forms of loss of liberty can, according to the countries, being decided by other authorities (police force, Armée, Douane S, Médecin S…)
Prison and Human rights
The four basic rights of the Man are, according to the Déclaration of the human rights and the citizen of 1789, the freedom , the property, safety and resistance to oppression; the first of these rights - by nature even - is suspended throughout prison sorrow. But the second and the third (property and safety , in other words safety) as for them are guaranteed, once carried out the payments of damage to the victims. In theory, the imprisonment should carry reached only to the freedom of going and coming. In practice, the custodial sentence weighs on many basic right (expression, family life, civic rights, intimacy, dignity). Gradually, the prisoners acquire the right to dispute the decisions of the prison authorities.
Alternative sentencesThe living conditions in the prisons are far from being ideal. The loss of liberty is felt hard by the prisoners and in certain cases, the prison can thus harm the capacity of autodéterminer to the reintegration of the prisoner. For this reason, the majority of the democracies envisage judgments with alternative sentences (also called sorrow alternatives) like:
- a Work of general interest (called " work communautaire" at Quebec)
- the port of a Electronic bracelet of monitoring fixes or mobile
- a fine (which can be added to the imprisonment - to see the cases of civil imprisonment, lengthening up to two months the custodial sentence, in particular in the case of traffic of Stupéfiant S)
- a deferment with the custodial sentence: it is often supplied with a testing period (care obligation, of work, formation, compensation for the civil parts…). The non-observance of this testing period involves a revocation of the deferment. Condemned then will purge its firm sorrow in a penal establishment. To this one possibly its new sorrow
- an adjournment of sorrow
- will be added a placement external
- the confiscation of the objects having allowed the realization of the infringements
Criticisms and oppositions to the prisonThe prison is regularly criticized for various reasons. It is important to separate the various protest movements.
Life in the prisonsFor its very hard living conditions, sometimes inhuman, like for the lack of means given to the prison institution as well on the level of the personnel as of the material. Associations like the International observatory of the prisons (OIP), Public Ban fight for the humanization of the detention conditions (see Georg Kirchheimer and Georg Rusche on the concept of less eligibility in their book Peine and social structure . Some academics (like Martine Herzog-Evans, Eric Péchillon or Jean-Paul Céré) work to make emerge a penitentiary right allowing an effective control of the detention conditions and a reflection on the direction of the sorrow. This concept explains why the conditions in the prisons improve, but remain always lower than the standard of living of the poorest workmen) and for the standardization of the penitentiary system (extension of the legal sphere in the prison world).
The critics and opponents with the prison often evoke a quotation generally allotted to Albert Camus: A company is judged with the state of its prisons or the Rule of law should not cease with the doors of the prisons .
AbolitionismCertain movements, qualified free trade are opposed to the principle even prison.
The fight for the abolition of the prisons was very strong in France at the end of the Années 1970, with creation by intellectuals (Michel Foucault, Pierre Vidal-Naquet, etc) of the Group of information on the prisons (GIP), then Comité of action of the prisoners (CAPE) by prisoners and ex-prisoners.
Some, like Thierry Levy, think that biometric new technologies would make it possible to do without the prison, while carrying out a real and painful control on condemned. Others, like Catherine Baker, estimate that the prison is a harmful institution and liberticide.
ReductionnismWith the difference of the preceding current, the reductionistic ones do not want to remove the prison, but to hold it to the most dangerous people. On the basis of the principle which the prison is the most expensive sorrow (it costs 1 600 euros per month and prisoner in France at the beginning of the 21e the century), least effective (the rates of repetition at the exit are more important than for any other alternative to the imprisonment) and that which désocialise more the individuals instead of allowing their reintegration, the reductionistic ones propose to resort in priority to the alternatives to the imprisonment (care obligation, socioeducational follow-up, work of general interest, amend, driving ban, deferment with testing period, etc) for the very large majority of prisoners who are condemned only to very short custodial sentences (the intermediate duration of imprisonment is 8 months). The prison would be then only the last recourse.
MutineersToday, the ideas abolitionists are defended especially in movements of prisoners, mutinies and the texts of claim which are then published (see in particular Daniel Koehl Révolte with perpetuity on the mutiny of Saint Maur).
The prison in the world
- the prison in Japan
- the prison in the United States
- the prison in China
- the prison in France
- the prison in Russia
- Prison of Baumettes, Marseilles
- Castle of Yew, Marseilles
- Devil's Island, French Guiana
- the Central Bastille, Paris
- of the Women, Rennes
- Prison of Clairvaux, Clairvaux
- Prison of Fleury-Mérogis, Fleury-Mérogis
- Prison of Fresnes, Fresnes (the Valley-of-Marne)
- Prison of Health, Paris
- Prison Holy-Pelagie, Paris
- Prison Good news, Rouen
; The United States
- Prison of Abu Ghraib, Iraq
; Ancient Rome
; The United Kingdom
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