Violence rife in juvenile prisons, as parents remain silent

by Ivano Abbadessa - 2014.04.24

There is a high rate of violence inside French juvenile correctional centres, where aggression from young detainees is tolerated with a certain resignation by prison staff. It's aided by victims and their parents turning a blind eye, as though there is little or nothing to be done about it. This warning comes from a report by the director general of French detention centres. In particular, it highlights the symptomatic case of Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone, the institute that last year alone reported 24 cases of serious assault, most of which happened while the detainees were outside in the courtyard together. However, according to the report, episodes of violence among youths are much more frequent than statistics suggest. Stronger action is therefore recommended. As well as improving cooperation between families and prison authorities, this would also call for 1) quicker intervention; 2) courses on mutual respect; 3) adequate support for victims; and 4) making the guilty party take responsibility for their aggressions.

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