In the Rennes prison, with the help of independent graphic designers and journalists, women prisoners serving long sentences produce a magazine with a difference. Citad’elles (a play on the words “citadel” and “she” in French) is the first magazine to be produced by women prisoners in France.
In the absence of any support, 63% of prisoners leaving prison will re-offend within five years. To prepare for prisoners’ rehabilitation and help them find their place in society again, the prison launched an innovative project together with Etablissements Bollec: producing a magazine entirely designed by women prisoners.
This quarterly journal of a quasi-professional standard is distributed throughout the Rennes prison and also in other prisons in western France, as well as being available online to the public. The project develops the prisoners’ ability to carry out a project and work together. At each editorial meeting, they exchange views on possible topics and learn the journalist’s trade with a volunteer professional. This experimental initiative is the only one in Europe. The two-fold objective is for women, whose lives are often broken by chaos and violence, to regain their confidence. It also aims to let women – who are not often heard – speak. Citad’elles is now also a rehabilitation tool, which helps them prepare for their release.
Fondation de France contributes support for six issues to be produced over two years. Since 2013, more than 150 projects have been funded as part of the Prisons Program, with the priority focus being on guidance and monitoring with a view to rehabilitating women serving a sentence.
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