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Mettray – A History of France's Most Venerated Carceral Institution - Cornell Scholarship Online
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Mettray: A History of France's Most Venerated Carceral Institution

Stephen A. Toth


The Mettray Penal Colony was a private reformatory without walls, established in France in 1840 for the rehabilitation of young male delinquents. Foucault linked its opening to the most significant change in the modern status of prisons and now this book takes us behind the gates to show how the institution legitimized France's repression of criminal youth and added a unique layer to the nation's carceral system. The book dissects Mettray's social anatomy, exploring inmates' experiences. More than 17,000 young men passed through the reformatory before its closure, and the book situates their s ... More

Keywords: Mettray Penal Colony, private reformatory, male delinquents, criminal youth, modern France, childhood, adolescence, carceral institution, prison

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9781501740183
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501740183.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Stephen A. Toth, author
Arizona State University

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