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La Santé Prison

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

La Santé
La-Sante-Prison-MCB.jpg
La Santé Prison (surrounded by high-rise buildings)
Location in Paris
Location Paris
Coordinates 48°50′02″N 2°20′23″E / 48.83389°N 2.33972°E / 48.83389; 2.33972
Status Operational
Capacity 2,000
Opened 1867
Managed by Ministry of Justice
Street address 42 Rue de la Santé, Montparnasse, 14th Arrondissement
City Paris
Postal code 75014
Country France
Notable prisoners
Jacques Mesrine, Manuel Noriega

La Santé Prison (literally meaning Prison of the Health) (French: Maison d'arrêt de la Santé or Prison de la Santé) is a prison operated by the Ministry of Justice located in the east of the Montparnasse district of the 14th arrondissement in Paris, France at 42 Rue de la Santé. It is one of the most infamous prisons in France, with both VIP and high security wings.

Along with the Fleury-Mérogis Prison (Europe's largest prison) and the Fresnes Prison, both located in the southern suburbs, La Santé is one of the three main prisons of the Paris area.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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Transcription

Welcome to Top10Archive! Sure, some of us have had run-ins with the law; some of us have even spent some time behind bars, but no matter how badly you thought you had it, it's nothing compared to the conditions in some of the most notorious prisons across the world. 10. San Quentin State Prison: San Rafael, California This prison is where most of death row seems to die while they wait - as San Quentin has the largest population of death row inmates. Robert Galvan, an inmate at San Quentin, said, "We are just left on a shelf, and that’s worse than being executed because you’re just waiting to die". Though they don't have to deal with the many extremes as some of the other prisons on our list, it is still a damnation of its own sort to be faced with one's own mortality, and little to nothing else. 9. La Santé Prison, France Located just a few miles from the Seine River in the heart of Paris, France, lies the La Sante Prison. Upon seeing the conditions of this horrid place, you'll quickly realize that the city of love is just skin deep. The prison first opened its doors to receive inmates in 1867, developing a history of abuse and cruelty. Nearly an inescapable prison, only three successful escapes have happened, the most daring of which was performed by the wife of the bank robber, Michel Vaujour. He escaped when she landed a helicopter on the roof of the prison. 8. Rikers Island New York, NY Holding between 10,000 and 12,000 inmates on average, the notorious prison Rikers Island is located just off of New York in the East River. Housing many violent criminals, the island prison has a long history of rapes, murders, assaults and other exploitations of human life, by both guards and inmates alike. The guards there have been charged many times for excessive force - with two guards being arrested for organizing fighting pits between the inmates. With corrupt guards, it hardly leaves time for inmates to look over their shoulders at one another - though they still have to, as prison gangs pose a more internal threat to the populace. 7. Petak Island Prison, Russia Located in Russia on White Lake, is a maximum-security prison - where only the worst prisoners are held. This prison doesn't just break you physically, it specializes in breaking you mentally. All prisoners spend 20 hours a day in solitary confinement - as if being secluded in a large building isn't enough - the halls are drafty, and the landscape around the prison is often snow covered with little in sight. Prisoners receive visitors just two days out of the year, and isolation and poor living conditions often times drives the prisoners to the brink of madness. 6. Kamiti Maximum Security Prison, Nairobi, Kenya Kenya's Kamiti maximum security prison has gained notoriety from the unfathomable living situations the inmates are forced to endure. Between the disease riddled, filthy environment - having epidemics such as cholera outbreaks - the prisoners are also exposed to rape, beatings and malnourishment. Debatably, those are the best outcomes, as many prisoners don't leave unless carried out of the building as nothing more than a corpse. The worst part about this situation, is officials are aware of it, human rights activists have protested it... and nothing is changing, and no one is forcing them to do so. 5. La Sabaneta Prison, Venezuela It is said that one would stand a better chance of survival on the streets of the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, than you do in its infamous prison La Sabaneta. The late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, even once described the prison as "The gateway to the fifth circle of hell". The place is underfunded, understaffed and severely overcrowded to say the least. Gangs hold more power in the prison than the guards, and vile deeds such as rape and murder are common place. Riots are very common, and in 2012, around 600 inmates were killed by guards and other prisoners. Just a short year later, in 2013, guards confiscated over 20,000 rounds of ammunition, and numerous guns. 4. Guantanamo Bay A United States military prison, located inside the United States Naval base of the same name is no stranger to being under scrutiny, and rightfully so. Even though the Department of Defense originally kept the identities of all detainees and relating information classified, a report by the Institute on Medicine as a Profession or IMAP would go on to state that the health professionals working therein both "designed and participated in cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and torture of detainees" - as the medical staff was directly ordered to ignore any ethical standards during these standards. 3. Black Beach Prison, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea Known for its many human rights violations, Black Beach prison is notorious for corrupted guards and brutality, inmate starvation, overpopulation and vermin infestations. Medical treatment is typically denied to inmates - with many dying from chronic disease. Suicide barriers have been put in place, inmates are shackled for the majority of the day, and the prison violates the United Nations' Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. 2. Gitarama Prison, Rwanda Being no stranger to terror, Rwanda hosts one of the most dangerous prisons on the planet. Infamously known for being the most over-crowded penitentiary in the world, there is said to be 4 people for every square meter. Built to hold about 500 inmates, it holds in the upper thousands today. It takes hours to get anywhere, as movement is done in almost a conveyor belt sort of method. Barefoot, cold and filthy, anywhere from 5 to 10 people die each day on average, with more hospitalized with various diseases. 1. Camp 22, North Korea Built in 1965, Camp 22 is a prison especially for political prisoners. The large compound - capable of holding 50,000 inmates - is isolated to help break the mind and spirits of those within. The most vile part, however, is that entire families have been locked away for generations, just to remove them from society. It doesn't stop there, however, as the inmates are exposed to bio-weapon testing, torture, and other experiments. This prison alone seems like something directly out of a cliche horror movie, but sadly it's very real, a still active.

Contents

History

La sante Prison in the 19th century as photographed by Charles Marville
La sante Prison in the 19th century as photographed by Charles Marville

The architect Joseph Auguste Émile Vaudremer built the prison, which was inaugurated on 20 August 1867.[1]

The prison is located on the site of a former "Coal market" and replaced the Madelonnettes Convent in the 3rd Arrondissement which had been used as a prison since the Revolution . Previously, on the same site, was a "maison de la santé" (House of health), built on the orders of Anne of Austria and transferred in 1651 to what is now the Sainte-Anne Hospital (in the south).

Initially, there were 500 cells which was increased to 1,000 in 1900 following the closure of the Paris Grande Roquette prison in 1899. The cells are 4 metres long, 2.5m wide and 3m high. The prison has a total capacity of up to 2,000 prisoners divided into 14 divisions.

In 1899, following the closure and demolition of the Grande Roquette prison the convicts were transferred to La Santé to await transfer to prison in Guyana or execution.

Executions were previously done at the entrance to the Grande Roquette so it was decided to do the same (or almost) at La Santé. The guillotine was erected at the corner of the Rue de la Santé and the Boulevard Arago on the pavement. The first execution – and the first in Paris for ten years – took place on 6 August 1909. It was that of a parricide called Georges Duchemin.[2]

On 7 May 1932 Eugene Boyer, a 27-year-old criminal who was denied a presidential pardon the previous day by President Paul Doumer, was to be executed. He was saved from the guillotine "in extremis" (twenty minutes before) following the assassination of the Chief of State on the same day as the execution was scheduled: in France, the president could reverse his decision until the last moment and obviously Boyer could not benefit from this potential "ultimate mercy". He was finally pardoned by Albert Lebrun on 13 May – which respected the tradition of pardoning those sentenced to death the first time in the presidential office – and he was sent to prison in Guyana. He was called André Baillard in the book by Henri Charrière.

Nearly forty prisoners ended their days in this place. It was also at this site that the second-last public execution in France was held: the burglar and double murderer Max Bloch on 2 June 1939. Fifteen days later on 17 June Eugen Weidmann, guilty of six murders, was guillotined in front of Versailles prison and on 24 June the decision was made to ban public executions. In the same decision the death penalty was made dependent on the Court of Appeal of Seine (either Seine-et-Oise or Aube) then the prisoners had to undergo their execution inside La Santé Prison.

On 15 March 1940 the Vocoret brothers, who killed three policemen in Issy-les-Moulineaux, were the first criminals to be guillotined inside the prison.

During the Occupation besides common law criminals there were also executions of 18 Resistance fighters and communists. Nine of them, carried out between August 1941 and July 1942, were guillotined. The other nine were shot on 30 April 1944. A plaque affixed to the wall of the prison at the corner of Rue Jean-Dolent and Rue de la La Santé recalls their tragic end.

Plaque in memory of the 18 resistance fighters executed here.
Plaque in memory of the 18 resistance fighters executed here.

After Liberation only common criminals were executed in the courtyard of the prison (except for several FLN activists between 1958 and 1960). Those executed included Marcel Petiot in 1946, Marquis Alain de Bernardy de Sigoyer in 1947, Emile Buisson ("Public Enemy No. 1") in 1956, Jacques Fesch in 1957, and Georges Rapin, called "Mr. Bill" in 1960.

The last sentences of death by guillotine at La Santé were Roger Bontems and Claude Buffet. They were the authors of an escape attempt with hostage taking which ended with the death of the hostages in 1971. Sentenced to death at Troyes on 29 June 1972, they were executed on the following 28 November.

According to them, those sentenced to death from Île-de-France were locked in Fresnes Prison (which theoretically would, in 1978, become the only prison entitled to host executions) but neither were executed – the abolition of the death penalty having been decided in the meantime.

Nevertheless, it is in Fresnes prison – in the basement of the National Centre for Guidance – that the remaining two guillotines in France are stored.

In 2000, the head doctor of the prison, Véronique Vasseur, published a book in which she denounced the very bad conditions of imprisonment, filth, illnesses, etc. The book was a shock to the public and prompted parliamentary evaluation of the situation.[3] In 2014, the prison closed for renovations, which will take 5 years to complete [4]

The buildings

The prison features a hub-and-spoke design similar to that which had been previously implemented in the construction of Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The prison is surrounded by:

  • the Boulevard Arago to the north
  • Messier Street to the west
  • Rue Jean-Dolent to the south
  • Rue de la Santé to the east

One of the peculiarities of la Santé today is that, until 2000, inmates were divided by geographic origin and ethnicity within the prison. One group of prisoners (those who are studying in particular) are grouped into sections but most of them are scattered in blocks which are four in number: Block A: Western Europe Block B: Black Africa Block C: North Africa Block D: rest of the world.

These blocks have recently undergone substantial renovations. The prison was partially closed from 2014 until 2019 in order to be rehabilitated; the parole section, however, will be kept in operation during this time.[5]

La Santé Prison is, nowadays, the last intra-muros prison in Paris. The other large prisons (in all categories) dependent on Paris are Poissy, Fleury-Mérogis, Fresnes, and Melun.

The "VIP" Section

The imprisonment of convicted "personalities" is one of the features of La Santé Prison. The area where these people are imprisoned is called the "special area" by the administration. The visiting rooms for these prisoners are at 1 rue Messier as for other prisoners (where is nearby accommodation for visiting relatives).

The film Quartier V.I.P. area partly takes place there.

Some notable prisoners

Escapes

  • 1927: Léon Daudet escaped 13 days after his imprisonment with Joseph Delest with a false order of release given to the prison director.
  • 8 May 1978: Jacques Mesrine, François Besse, and Carman Rives (who was killed during the escape).
  • May 1986: Michel Vaujour escaped in a helicopter piloted by his wife at the time, Nadine Vaujour.

These are the only known escapes from this prison.

Around the prison

À la bonne Santé

In front of the exit of the prison there was a cafe called À la bonne Santé (In good health). Relatives of the prisoners would meet there with released prisoners. Scenes from several films took place and were filmed there. The cafe closed in 1980. Currently the premises are used by the prison administration.

La Santé in popular culture

  • Arsène Lupin, a fictional character by Maurice Leblanc, was taken prisoner at La Santé prison in the novel 813 (1910).
  • La Santé Prison was the supposed scene of the film Le Trou (The Hole) (1960), directed by Jacques Becker. During preparations for the escape of prisoners through the sewers the street names can be seen on signs in the sewers and there is an exterior view of the prison at the corner of the Boulevard Arago and Rue de la Santé.
  • In the song "L'argent ne fait pas le bonheur" (Money does not buy happiness) (1966) from the group Les Parisiennes: "Take all your [clothes] gaily under your arm and leave without paying / We will bring you oranges at La Santé".
  • Georges Brassens evokes La Santé Prison in his song La femme d'Hector (Hector's wife): "When one takes us by hand / god darned good in a bag / And one sends us to plant / Cabbages at La Santé" as well as his song Le mauvais sujet repenti (The evil-doer repents): "After a century, was thrown / At the door of La Santé".
  • Yves Duteil evokes empathy of a passer-by for the prisoners of La Santé in his song Le mur de la prison d'en face (The prison wall opposite).
  • In the episode Broken Wing [17] of U.S. television drama 'Leverage', Parker served an unknown amount of time in La Sante. Afterwards, she declared that the best meal she ever ate was in that prison and that she didn't serve as long as they thought she would there.
  • The novel "A Cold Death" by Michael Mandaville uses La Santé Prison to show the attempted assassination of Maurice Papon.
  • In Georges Simenon's Maigret series novel "A Man's Head", La Sante Prison features heavily in the opening chapter.

References

  • Jacques Hillairet, Historical Dictionary of the Streets of Paris, Les Éditions de Minuit, 1985, ISBN 2707310549, Vol. 2, p. 503 (in French)
  1. ^ La Santé - Penitentiary - Prison, Ministry of Justice. Retrieved on 18 October 2010. "The Prison of Paris built by the Architect Vaudremer was opened on 20 August 1867, Rue de la Santé"
  2. ^ The News on 6 August 1909 (in French)
  3. ^ Expose of Brutal Prison Jolts France's Self-Image, The New York Times, January 28, 2000
  4. ^ Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations, France 24. July 21, 2014
  5. ^ La Santé Prison partially closed for 5 years in ouest-france.fr, 16 July 2013. (in French)
  6. ^ Letter from Prison Archived 2012-05-12 at the Wayback Machine., Mon printemps parisien. (in French)
  7. ^ André Manaranche, Jacques Fesch: of nonsense to tenderness Page 308: Letter and testimony of Mr. Mariani, director of the Prison of La Sante from 1954 to 1960, about the prisoner Jacques Fesch: "... Jacques was executed on 1 October 1957: I can say that in the last moments of his life, he has shown tremendous courage and a big adjustment vis-à-vis the people forced to attend the execution; I remember he wanted to express his appreciation to Mr. Baudot, to Father Devoyod, and myself. (...)"
  8. ^ a b Davies, Lizzie. "Manuel Noriega, former ruler of Panama, sent to jail by French judge." The Guardian. Tuesday 27 April 2010. Retrieved on 21 May 2010. "Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, the Venezuelan terrorist better known as Carlos the Jackal, is currently serving a life sentence there.."
  9. ^ See on lemediascope.fr (in French)
  10. ^ See on lemonde.fr. (in French)
  11. ^ Ghislain de Montalembert, Xavier Niel 100% Free, in Le Figaro Magazine, week of 19 July 2013, pages 52-55. (in French)
  12. ^ Souchard, Pierre-Antoine. "French court to decide about Noriega's detention." Associated Press. 5 May 2010. Retrieved on 6 May 2010.
  13. ^ a b Souchard, Pierre-Antoine. "Panama's ex-dictator Noriega jailed in France." Associated Press. Tuesday 27 April 2010. Retrieved on 20 May 2010.
  14. ^ See on ladepeche.fr. (in French)
  15. ^ Seth Gueko Archived 2010-06-26 at the Wayback Machine. (in French)
  16. ^ François Pédron, Coral, Pedophile scandal, page 128, Paris Match of 27 December 2012 to 2 January 2012, No. 3319. (in French)
  17. ^ Television Series "Leverage." Season Five Episode Eight "The Broken Wing Job." (9 Sep. 2012)

Further reading

  • (in French) Dominique Vasseur, Chief Doctor at La Santé Prison, ISBN 2-253-15173-4 (in French)

External links

This page was last edited on 6 August 2018, at 14:24
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