THE HIGH WALLS|correctional colonies

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THE HIGH WALLS - PRISON CAMPS -

In continuation of my work around children, between documentary and working memory , I went on the trail of what remains of these penal colonies that have survived for more than a century not because they were human but because they could see a relatively low recidivism rates.

In the middle of nowhere or in the heart of a village, places full of pain, some traces of the not so distant past and buried silent cries of children. The high walls are still there. On the walls of dungeons, graffiti, counts , initials engraved phrases : " God lives, that overcomes live more than God. Do not die . "

The child face justice , is it more a guilty child lock , to correct a child victim to educate , protect ?


On 5 August 1850, the government passed a law which establishes prison farm colonies , or " houses of correction " , supposed to be more educational than punitive . Correctional institutions for minors trying to recover children aged 6-21 years. It hosts mainly young men who were acquitted for "having acted without discernment " (Article 66 of the Civil Code) we must " re-educate " the penalties range between 4 and 8 years. Minors who have committed crimes , found guilty and sentenced to not more than two years. In these two categories, there are the paternal corrections ( father could no longer hold his offspring sending a request for internment trial judge for a sentence of three months, six months, one year, renewable only once) .

Colonies invent their own values, their rules and legends , largely to meet the expectations of always quick to check the individual company . But the good example quickly turns into real prison for children. Punishment, humiliation , hard labor , this is the daily lot of small settlers.

In 1927 , the terms of prison and correctional colony are replaced by approved school . But that does not change reality. Children are brought together under a strict discipline and applied to work in agriculture, as well as major industries related to it , they are monitored by prison guards , and locked in what is called chicken coops . The punishments are based on isolation in various types of dungeons, accompanied by starvation .

Throughout the Hexagon , there were sixty private institutions and less than a dozen public .

From 1950, the IPES gradually enroll in an educational way that he will win not without difficulty , exposed to many prison archaisms .