Community life in prison

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Prison chaplain

Seminar Social life | Thursday December 13, 2001

Can community life develop in an environment such as a prison which is very restrictive ? Prison is a reflection of society, with its groupings, its hierarchies, its power struggles, its rules, but also with its outcasts and its prosperous inmates. Community life can be expressed in many ways : in religious practices, in sporting activities, in discussion or training groups, and also in the cell shared with other prisoners, in the so-called ‘divisions’ where all contacts take shape, and in the courtyard during walks. Prison staff and volunteers take part in this community life and each person has his own role to play. Several opinions are expressed in this discussion concerning the prisoners’ lot and the role played by their wardens and other persons, volunteers etc. However, the question remains : what is the purpose of prisons ?

The entire article was written by:

Lucien CLAES

This session was published in issue n°35 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled L'ordre.

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