Opened in 2019, this district devoted to the de-radicalization of the prisoners whose administration estimates that they can evolve and give up their ideology, welcomes two prisoners. Closely monitored, they meet psychologists, Islamologists and other educators, whose goal is to get them "to think freely".


Tuesday opens the trial of Bilal Taghi, a radicalized detainee who tried to murder two prison guards in Osny prison in September 2016. This terrorist attack was the first in prison. Since then, the detention system for radicalized detainees has been completely redesigned. Persons imprisoned for terrorism are all assessed for four months. Some 378 suspected terrorists have already been assessed. Those who are most at risk of going into the act go into isolation, those who are proselytes - but who can evolve (12 to 15% of them) - find themselves in neighborhoods of care of radicalization. Europe 1 was able to go there.

There are four neighborhoods for the prevention of radicalization (QPR) in France. That of Aix-Luynes, a few kilometers from Aix-en-Provence, which opened in 2019, currently hosts two detainees. It is accessed by a long corridor, away from other buildings in the prison. Each cell is ultra secure: the furniture is sealed on the floor and a precise protocol is applied before opening the doors. "The detainee is asked to step forward, and at the exit of the cell, he is taken care of by two agents, with a safety palpation and a metal detector", explains a supervisor at Europe 1. " If we have to put it back in the cell for five minutes, and then bring it out, the security protocol will still be the same. "

Detainees in this area never meet those of conventional detention. They have neither the same promenade nor the same parlor. This is a real prison in the prison, to leave the alleged terrorist no chance to embrace the other prisoners.

"To get them to open up to other horizons and to allow themselves to think freely"

Finish the time when we just gathered the radicalized prisoners. Since 2016, the administration intends to disengage them from their violent ideology. In Aix-Luynes, each prisoner meets psychologists, Islamologists but also geopolitical specialists. In the library of the QPR, on one of the first shelves: a cooking show, a biography of Coluche and the history of the illustrated world. We must pass in front of these works to arrive at the Koran. A choice that owes nothing to chance. "The idea is not to guide people in their belief, but to get them to open up to other horizons and to allow themselves to think freely.Sometimes they will go to books they would not necessarily have discovered before their entry to QPR, "says a member of the mission to fight against violent radicalization.

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Fight against concealment

Inmates can also ask for books. Their readings are highly observed to assess their level of radicality. Because one of the issues of QPR is to break through any attempt at concealment. Detainees are constantly scrutinized by specially trained supervisors, psychologists, and educators, all of whom are professional men and women who, every six months, gather around a table to discuss the case of each of them. prisoner. For the prison administration, these points of steps make it possible to limit the risk of concealment.

So far, only 13 prisoners have been released from the PRQs, after a year and a half on average. Eight of them were able to join the classic detention. The others were placed in isolation ward. If the device seems to work, it does not solve the problem of long sentences. "Keeping someone in QPR for 20 years would not make sense," admits a member of the prison administration.