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Chapitre D'ouvrage Année : 2018

“Escaping from Hell is a Right!”: The Case of France’s “Q.H.S.” (1975–1982)


How can the upsetting, paradoxical idea that escaping from prison would be a “right” be not only expressed, but garner appreciable public echo? To answer this question, this chapter deals with the controversy surrounding high security units, dubbed “QHS” (for Quartiers de haute sécurité), in late 1970s’ France. At that time, these units were widely criticized for being dreadful sites, repeatedly compared to tombs or torture chambers; therefore, they became a focal point of prison struggles against the “state”. Putting these struggles in the context of “1968” and its aftermath, this chapter also focuses on a trial that took place in 1978 as an emblematic “affair”, in the sociological as well as legal sense of the term.


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hal-02382375 , version 1 (18-12-2023)


  • HAL Id : hal-02382375 , version 1


Grégory Salle. “Escaping from Hell is a Right!”: The Case of France’s “Q.H.S.” (1975–1982). Max Martin, Tomas; Chantraine, Gilles. Prison Breaks. Towards a Sociology of Escape, Palgrave Macmillan, pp.191-210, 2018. ⟨hal-02382375⟩


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