French probation officers unhappy at being told to spy on 'radicalised' inmates

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Following the 2015 terrorist attacks in France, probation officers in the prison system have been instructed to inform the authorities about the “radicalisation” of prisoners. When one officer criticised the new system in a newspaper interview, claiming that being forced to work as “intelligence agents” undermined the trust between probation workers officers and prisoners, her job was threatened. Probation officers also fear that they will get the blame for not flagging a problem if former prisoners go on to commit terrorist acts. Maxime Grimbert reports.

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The sanction was immediate. Last April Mylène Palisse, a prison probation officer, criticised new directives that followed the 2015 terrorist attacks in France in an interview with the communist daily L’Humanité. She and her colleagues have been asked to inform on the level of radicalisation among the prisoners they see.