Long-term immersion in a prison school on France 2

The channel broadcasts Behind bars, school a fascinating documentary on school education in detention.

Ousmane, 18, Gogo, 23, Arnaud, 31, and Christophe, 35, are incarcerated in the Nanterre remand center. Their paths and their stories differ but all have chosen to return to school during their sentence.

I’National Education has been working in prisons since 1975 and each prison establishment has a school center within it. This place plays an essential role in reintegration.

One year of immersion

In France, 44% of prisoners have no diploma, 90% have a level below the baccalaureate and 12% are illiterate. For a year, the director Cécile Tartakovsky filmed the daily life of this school like the others or almost, transcribed in the documentary Behind bars, schoolbroadcast this Wednesday, March 15 on France 2. If the courses provided are the same, it is the students who volunteer to study, except for minors, for whom education is compulsory. For many of them, resuming their studies and earning a diploma is a way of keeping busy but above all of planning for the future. “When you are in prison, you want to live, to move forward, to exist, and the only way is to try to create a future for yourself”confides Ousmane, who is ping a BEP in optics.

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Pionate and dedicated teachers

In this quest for better days, everyone is accompanied by a pionate and dedicated teaching staff. Sylvie Paré, the director of this school center, in the lead. After having been a school teacher for a long time, she chose to train to bring her experience to prisoners. For twenty years she has accompanied them to offer them prospects and keep them away from recidivism thanks to education.

Since her beginnings, she has made it a point of honor never to know the past of the people she teaches in order to see in them only students with desires and dreams. Detainees are thus considered for what they are and no longer just for the acts they have committed. And if violence is never far away, the teachers manage it with instinct and patience. Their ability to adapt remains their greatest strength, with the common leitmotiv of trying to offer prisoners a way out through education.

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