Penal Issues (2006->) septembre 2005

PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPERTISE, RISK MANAGEMENT AND POWER RELATIONS IN CANADIAN PRISONS

par Gilles CHANTRAINE, Marion VACHERET,

Gilles CHANTRAINE (CESDIP, Guyancourt, France) and Marion VACHERET (International Centre for Comparative Criminology, Montreal, Canada) have jointly conducted field work aimed at studying social relations in Canadian prisons. The present paper discusses one particular aspect of their research : the concrete impact of psychological expertise and of management of the risk of recidivism on the economy of interpersonal relations in prison. Their analyses thus feed current debate in France on how to deal with recidivism.

The Canadian federal prison configuration is somewhat remarkable ; like Scandinavian prisons in the 1970s and 80s, it sometimes serves as a “model” for reformers of other national correctional systems. In France for instance, where controversy is raging over the need both to “deal more adequately” with recidivism and to reform correctional facilities, the extreme deterioration of which is repeatedly denounced, one often hears explicit or implicit references to the practices and methods used in Canadian prisons, as applied both to conditions of detention and inmates’ rights and to new (re)habilitation schemes. The present issue of Penal Issues does not aim to describe the Canadian correctional system as a whole, with the development of inmates’ rights over nearly thirty years, the significant opening-up of prisons to all sorts of actors in the legal, administrative, political and citizens group fields, the promotion and strengthening of what is known as “active” security via the involvement of guards in a detention model based on communication and personalized relationships or again, the diversification of adjustment measures and the ambiguities of the means of obtaining them. We prefer to focus here on one peculiar aspect of the system : psychological expertise and its concrete impact on detention. The point here is not to observe this expertise from the viewpoint of an evaluator attempting to assess the efficacy of programs, using increasingly refined statistical tools to measure the rates of recidivism and of returns to prison. Rather, we take a sociologist’s view of social relations in detention. This focus on these institutional aspects, and our peculiar viewpoint, are by no means fortuitous : they correspond to a specific gap in French public debate. Indeed, when French reformers suggest that we “set up an interdisciplinary methodology combining psychiatric, medico-psychological and behavioral expertise of sentenced individuals so as to detect their risk of recidivism and social dangerousness, as is done in Canada”, this invocation and the projected introduction of the imported scheme are divested of most of the critical reflections that these schemes have attracted. More traditionally, this desire to import a solution is carried out without any attempt to understand how such programs shape prisoners’ personal experience of detention. Our conviction that there can be no analysis or understanding of how prisons function without that “underdog perspective” has led us to weight the other side of the balance so as to achieve a degree of equilibrium, essential to public debate.

 

novembre 2007
CHIEF PUBLIC PROSECUTOR : A STRENGTHENED PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY


juin 2007
JUDICIAL PROCESSING OF JUVENILES : THE CASE OF RIOTERS « DÉFÉRÉS » IN NOVEMBER 2005


mars 2007
PRISON ENTRIES AND LENGTH OF DETENTION. THE DIVERSITY OF THE CORRECTIONAL SYSTEMS SITUATION IN EUROPE


janvier 2007
VICTIMISATION AND POLICE STATISTICS IN THE ÎLE-DE-FRANCE REGION


décembre 2006
VICTIMIZATION AND INSECURITY IN URBAN AREAS. THE 2005 SURVEYS


septembre 2006
VIOLENCE IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS, AS EXPERIENCED BY TEACHERS AND PUPILS


juin 2006
RELATIVITY OF AND GAPS IN SOURCES OF STATISTICS ON PRETRIAL DETENTION


janvier 2006
SOME ASPECTS OF VIOLENCE IN SOCIAL RELATIONS DELIBERATE ASSAULT AND BATTERY ENTAILING INCAPACITY TO WORK TRIED BY A PARIS AREA CORRECTIONNEL COURT IN THE YEAR 2000


décembre 2005
SITUATIONAL CRIME PREVENTION IN PUBLIC HOUSING : LETTER FROM AMERICA


juin 2005
A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF PRISON LABOUR IN FRANCE, GERMANY AND ENGLAND


mars 2005
WHEN THE POLICE GO TO COURT. A STUDY OF CONTEMPT, OBSTRUCTION AND ASSAULT ON A POLICE OFFICER


janvier 2005
A RESEARCH ON GANG RAPE CASES : JUDICIAL DATA AND SOCIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS


décembre 2004
PREVENTIVE POLICY FOR DRUG USERS : STRAINED NORMS


septembre 2004
LEAVING SCHOOL, A NEW FORM OF JUVENILE DEVIANCE ?


juin 2004
OF WHAT USE ARE LAWYERS FOR JUVENILE OFFENDERS ?


mars 2004
IMPOSSIBLE INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS OF STATISTICS ? THE EUROPEAN SOURCEBOOK EXPERIENCE


janvier 2004
CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS IN HOMICIDE CASES


décembre 2003
FRENCH COURT CLERKS : UNCERTAINTIES IN TURNING THE JOB INTO A PROFESSION


septembre 2003
COMBATTING MONEY LAUNDERING AT THE EUROPEAN LEVEL


juin 2003
ELECTRONIC MONITORING : ASSESSMENT OF THE EXPERIMENTAL PHASE



Télécharger le numéro


148.8 ko