Europe, France: Grenoble Institute Of Political Studies; One Student’s Study Project

etudianteAs part of her third year of study at the Grenoble Institute of Political Studies, student Ms. Louise Lamotte, takes part in the Crime and Punishment seminar held by Ms. Martine Kaluszynski, for which she will write an 80-page dissertation.

UNESCO Chair in Applied Research for Education in Prison: A Tools for International Cooperation to Improve Practices in Education in Prison.

As part of my third year of study at the Grenoble Institute of Political Studies, I am taking part in the Crime and Punishment: Justice, Prison, Violence and Society seminar, held by Martine Kaluszynski for which I will write an 80-page dissertation on a subject of my choice falling under the theme of the seminar. This is how I became interested in education in prison, knowing that I wanted to give this dissertation an international dimension.

Through my research, I discovered the UNESCO Chair in Applied Research for Education in Prison. I thought I should study this UNESCO Chair considering the international context as we know it, one of a globalized world with interdependent States. This is all the more applicable to the prison environment, given that the prison is an institution found in all countries. The existing literature shows interest in this institution, considered to be imperfect and failing, specifically given its failure to prevent recidivism—and therefore, its main mission, which is to guarantee security by locking up individuals before reintegrating them into society.

It would appear there is a real need for international cooperation so that nations can work together toward common goals. The creation of the UNESCO Chair may be interpreted as a move in this direction, which is why this UNESCO Chair will be studied as a tool for international cooperation to improve practices in education in prison.

The issues of this study rest on the potential responses to a failing model, the challenges related to international cooperation between nations with different expectations and varying national frameworks, and finally, the concrete influence the UNESCO Chair might have on political decisionmakers through the dissemination of this work.

This dissertation will attempt to address these subjects, parallel to an analysis by the UNESCO Chair regarding its objectives, actions, and organization and operation. To give this study an empirical approach, the means and methods used by the UNESCO Chair will be questioned.

The context of the creation of the UNESCO Chair would represent an acknowledgement of the expertise of the Cégep Marie-Victorien (CMV) on education in prison. It’s very important to understand how the attribution of this UNESCO Chair to the CMV has identified the Cegep as an international reference on the matter and ensures it has a role in information exchange and good practices at the international level.

After analyzing the context in which the UNESCO Chair was created, the international context needs to be considered—where punitive practices are generalized throughout the world, necessitating international coordination to bring common solutions to generalized problems. Education would be a response to the imperfections of prison, even though it might look different in the various national frameworks that exist.

The advantages of education in prison as promoted by the UNESCO Chair will then be presented. Education appears to be a virtuous circle, as much in terms of security (societal, in a broad sense, and in prisons) as a profitable solution for nations, and would also permit personal development for prisoners. This would help in the fight against recidivism, as well as the socio-economic reintegration of individuals into society.

Finally, the relationship between the UNESCO Chair and political decision-makers will be examined, along with the political will for international policy on education in prison. With a view to this, we will look at the means that have been used to influence decision-makers and the UNESCO Chair’s ideas on models of education in prison.


Louise Lamotte
+336 59 42 71 70
Third-year Bachelor student at the Grenoble Institute of Political Studies