Compendium of 29 printed and manuscript documents related to the adoption of the cellular prison system in late 19th century France, including: Liste et Adresses de M.M. les Membres du Conseil Supérieur des Prisons, Février 1879; Adresses des membres du Conseil Supérieur des Prisons; 34-pp. printed document containing the text of the "Règlement spécial pour les prisons départementales soumises au régime de l'emprisonnement individuel"; large engraved folding table titled "Etat des maisons d'arrêt, de justice et de correction des départements autres que la Seine, à approprier, à transformer ou à reconstruire"; a two-part report, "Dispositions générales et particulières, relatives à la construction des prisons suivant le système cellulare" by Alfred Norman, the architect named Inspecteur Général des Édifices Pénitentiaires in 1861, the second part with 6 folding plates of architectural diagrams of prisons and cell design in Louvain, Bruges, Anvers, Ghent, and Rotterdam; "Programme pour la construction des prisons départementales en vue de la mise en pratique du système de la séparation individuelle"; "Note sur l'éxecution de la loi du 5 juin 1875, Situation au 30 juin 1876", with 14 pages of engraved tables providing updates on prisons across France; "Note sur la situation du Service des Prisons au 15 Janvier 1877", with 12 pages of engraved tables; a report authored by Fernand Desportes from the January 1877 sessions of the Conseil Supérieur des Prisons; two other reports from the January 1877 sessions including "Du travail des prisons en Amérique" and "Proposition de M. Babinet concernant l'administration centrale du service pénitentiaire"; several reports from the January 1878 council session including "Instruction pour la mise en pratique du régime de la séparation individuelle dans les prisons départementales" and updates on the status of prisons; a second report authored by Desportes, "Rapport sur les objects exposés par les services pénitentiaires a l'Exposition Universelle de 1878"; and additional assorted reports and updates. Some scattered toning, very minor foxing, minor edgewear, overall very good. Large 4to. Leather-backed marbled boards with raised spine and gilt-stamped title, some rubbing and edgewear, spine slightly shaken. Paris, 1875-1880. With annotations and provenance stamps throughout from Fernand Desportes, the assembler of this compendium and a member of the Conseil Supérieur des Prisons who would later serve as General Secretary of the Société Générale des Prisons.
Conversations surrounding the newer "fashion" of a cellular prison system began in France as early as the 1830s. In 1848, a bill supporting a system of prisoner isolation both day and night was on the verge of being approved before the Revolution broke out. Attempts were made to re-introduce the bill during the Second Republic but they all ultimately failed, and Louis Napoleon put an end to the small-scale experiment which had been ongoing to create new, "modern", cellular prisons. Between 1850 and 1870, the ideas of cellular isolation and rehabiliation were abandoned altogether in France, in favor of collective imprisonment. However, the tides began to turn in 1872 when a commission was formed to study the penal system and recommend a new policy moving forward. The commission determined that the current French prison system was faulty and recommended a program of cellular isolation. The law to convert to a cellular prison system was passed three years later, on June 5, 1875. In order to oversee the prison reforms, the Ministry of the Interior created the Conseil Supérieur des Prisons, but the new policies were slow to take effect due to a variety of factors, including cost and logistics. By 1881, only 10 of the 437 prisons had been converted to a cellular design. (Crime, Madness and Politics in Modern France, Robert A. Nye, 2014).
Book ID: 50635