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Quand la prison prend soin : Enquête sur les pratiques professionnelles de santé mentale en milieu carcéral en France et en Allemagne

Abstract : While Germany relies on forensic hospitals (Maßregelvollzug) since the 1930s, the French penal system develops mental health care services from the 1980s in order to deal with inmates with mental disorders. Between the penalization of mental health patients and the pathologization of certain crimes, the involvement of mental health professionals in the penal system begs the question of hybridization of care and punishment. The aim of this thesis is to investigate this hybridization in a French-German comparative perspective. By tracing the historic links between psychiatry and penal system in both countries, the analysis shows how the institutional heritage impacts on the role played by the mental health care professionals in the division of penitentiary labor. Based on ethnographic field studies (observations and interviews) - carried out respectively over five months in a French and German prison - the thesis examines the various arrangements of care and punishment: while the prison of Tourion (France) can be described as a fragmented institution, in which the lines between penitentiary and mental health care services are demarcated, the prison of Grünstadt (Germany) arranges a reinforced cooperation evolving around an institutionalized psycho-criminological supervision of the inmates. In both countries, however, the presence of mental health care professionals leads to ambivalent effects: it brings the mental suffering of inmates into the spotlight, but also contributes to the legitimization of the concept of therapeutic punishment – life sentence as therapy for the most “dangerous” inmates. Ultimately, this thesis illustrates the contemporary transformations of the prison to an « asylum », namely a place where punishment and treatment are intertwined, but equally, one of the last refuges for certain forms of madness. Beyond prisons, this thesis contributes to analyzing the relation between institutional transformations and the evolution of professional worlds.
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Contributor : Camille Lancelevee <>
Submitted on : Friday, November 11, 2016 - 11:00:52 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, September 19, 2020 - 3:51:51 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 11:31:34 AM


  • HAL Id : tel-01395632, version 1



Camille Lancelevee. Quand la prison prend soin : Enquête sur les pratiques professionnelles de santé mentale en milieu carcéral en France et en Allemagne. Sociologie. EHESS-Paris, 2016. Français. ⟨tel-01395632⟩



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