Alternative Programs Are Replacing Some Prisons in France

The debate over prisons in many major Western countries has been going on for centuries. What conditions are too harsh? What sentence isn’t harsh enough? And how can you tell who really deserves their time?

That is why France has been exploring alternate options for dealing with felons, such as the men featured in this France24 video. “Insertion centers,” as they’re called, monitor prisoners living outside the walls of a traditional prison, and allow offenders to be handled on a case by case basis. Some are required to meet with their counselor at a center every two months in addition to regular psychologist appointments. Others are fitted with ankle monitors. Still more live in halfway houses and are allowed to leave only to search for work. But all participants agree that these methods are far better than spending time in the Big House.


Prisons drain enormous state resources, and under a reform president, insertion centers could gain popularity as a means of reducing taxpayer contributions to fund them. Just another thing for French prez Emmanuel Macron to keep in mind.