Coucy-le-Château-Auffrique – France
After Prison, Live on a Farm
THE CONTEXT OF YOUR INITIATIVE
French criminal law states that sanctions on criminals should seek to integrate or reintegrate people who have committed a crime. Moreover, studies show that 60% of people given prison sentences reoffend within 5 years if they do not receive specialised social support. Overpopulation of prisons, violence, unstable physical and mental health – the conditions in prison don’t enable them to prepare for release and increase the risk of people reoffending.
Driven by a strong belief that all human beings can improve themselves and rebuild their lives through work, in 1990 Jacques Pluvinage and Claude Naudin founded Moyembrie Farm to mitigate the damaging social impact of prison, and to prepare people for their reintegration into society.
THE ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT AS PART OF YOUR INITIATIVE
Moyembrie Farm is located in the village of Coucy le Château in the department of Aisne in northern France. The association seeks to take in and support people who want to rebuild their lives after a rupture, which for most people here means having been in prison.
A studio and job integration workshop supported by the state, it’s a unique place which takes in people who have completed a prison sentence (through an external placement system). These people are integrated into society and professional life by working in organic gardens.
On average, the farm has 50 ‘residents’, who generally stay for a period of about 7 months. Enjoying spending time together is key to teaching them how to live in society again and of preparing them for release. This original feature has proven successful and its success in reintegrating people has been recognised.
WHO IS INVOLVED FROM OUR GROUP?
The farm has an average of 50 residents a year, 7 members of staff and around 50 volunteers, most of whom are AMAP members (a form of association that supports farmers).
The farm regularly receives visits from external stakeholders, volunteers, project leaders, legal professionals, journalists, etc.)
WHICH PARTNERS ARE YOU WORKING WITH ON THIS INITIATIVE?
In 2015, 54 people were taken in. the integration workshop has a dynamic turnover (for positive reasons) of 57% from people leaving to take up jobs or training. Accommodation is found for each person that leaves.