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France and Quebec: A problematic comparison?
The uses of the Quebecois/Canadian example in French penal and prison reforms since the 2000s
By Jean Bérard, Gilles Chantraine


This study analyzes the uses of the Canadian model by French penal critics and reformers since the 2000s. First, in the 2000s, the Canadian mixture of recognition of prisoners’ rights, risk assessment, and correctional classification was seen by French prison reformers as an answer to the contradictory demands they were receiving regarding improving prisoners’ conditions and the safe management of an overcrowded prison population. Then, after the 2012 election, the Canadian model was used again for its production of expert knowledge on the assessment of penal measures, in order to promote non-custodial sentences. But the use of Canada as a reference is thwarted by the intensity of the politicization of insecurity. Canada is less a model than a country facing very similar tensions in the definition of its penal policies.


  • prison
  • Canadian model
  • rights
  • risks
  • penal innovation
  • benchmark
Go to the article on Cairn-int.info