Letting prisoners race cars, the French Ministry of Justice received criticism

The French Ministry of Justice was criticized when the second largest prison in the country hosted reality TV-style games for inmates.

The controversy erupted after a 25-minute video went viral on YouTube, showing inmates at the Fresnes prison in the Val-de-Marne region, southern France, participating in go-kart racing and series another challenge. The contest was named Kohlantess, based on a reality TV show in France, Guardian reported on August 22.

“The fight against re-offenders needs rehabilitation activities, but certainly does not include go-kart racing,” Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti wrote on Twitter, describing the video as “shocking” ” and requested an internal investigation.

However, the Justice Department’s communications department is said to have approved the project, and censored it before it aired to ensure there were no security concerns.

France is criticized for allowing prisoners to race cars

Prisoners race go-karts at Fresnes prison, Val-de-Marne region, southern France. Video: Konbini.

Conservative MP Eric Ciotti of the opposition Les Republicains party was one of the most vocal critics of the programme. “France’s prisons are not resorts or where prisoners and guards forge friendly relations,” he said. “These pictures shocked many French people and many victims of crime. Behind every prisoner there is a victim.”

Sheet Le Figaro France said the ministry’s “top management” had given permission to organize the race and release the video, but an unnamed official said they were not informed about the racing game, which only included challenges. sport, jump rope.

The French prison authority is also said to have approved the scheme. Jimmy Delliste, leader of Fresnes prison, said that this is an opportunity to help inmates bond more and thank the organizers. The event helped raise about $1,700 for charity, according to Mr. Delliste.

A French prison official said none of the show’s participants had been convicted of murder or rape, adding that the event did not cost “a penny in taxes from the people”.

“Obviously everything was approved, we never disobeyed the Justice Department,” said Enzo Angelo Santo, an independent producer who released the video.

Prisoners race go-karts at Fresnes prison, southern France.  Photo: Times.

Prisoners race go-karts at Fresnes prison, southern France. Image: Times.

The prison competition, organized by local businessman Djibril Drame, is sponsored by fast food chain Big M and an online sports app. Mr. Drame is said to have hosted a number of similar games at Fresnes prison over the years.

Fresnes Prison was built at the end of the 19th century and currently has about 2,000 men and 100 women serving sentences.

Duc Trung (Theo Guardian)

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