Penal Issues (2006->) juin 2005

A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF PRISON LABOUR IN FRANCE, GERMANY AND ENGLAND

par Evelyn SHEA,

Evelyn SHEA gives an account of the results of her doctoral dissertation in comparative criminal law (Université Robert Schuman, Strasbourg) on the challenges of prison labour in France, Germany and England. The study is part of research on prison regimes conducted by the Laboratoire Européen Associé (CESDIP/Max-Planck Institute for International and Comparative Criminal Law, Guyancourt/Freiburg-im-Breisgau, France/Allemagne).

For centuries, prison labour was considered the backbone of Western prison regimes : indispensable for maintaining order and discipline, a good source of revenue, and the best means of improving the professional future of inmates. Today, this central role of work is less taken for granted. Several French commissions have voiced the concern that, in its present form, prison labour alleviates at best some of the hardship of imprisonment and facilitates the control of the inmate population but is no longer able to fulfil its main goal : to increase the employability of inmates and thus reduce recidivism. Four factors are held responsible : 1. A shortage of work-and training places 2. A disproportionate number of unskilled and mind-numbing jobs. 3. Unacceptably low pay levels. The absence of a sizable number of rights and protections linked to a work contract.

 

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mars 2004
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décembre 2003
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