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This Living Library is a principal hub of the LibreTexts project, which is a multi-institutional collaborative venture to develop the next generation of open-access texts to improve postsecondary education at all levels of higher learning. The LibreTexts approach is highly collaborative where an Open Access textbook environment is under constant revision by students, faculty, and outside experts to supplant conventional paper-based books.
chemistry  reference  textbook  ebook 
46 minutes ago by euler
6. Modules — Python 3.7.2 documentation
If you quit from the Python interpreter and enter it again, the definitions you have made (functions and variables) are lost. Therefore, if you want to write a somewhat longer program, you are better off using a text edi
howto  reference  module  python 
1 hour ago by eeichinger
Designs Guide
Collection of measurements and schematics of objects and spaces
design  architecture  reference  database  measurement  spaces  objects  schematics 
2 hours ago by milesevenson
Library Planet
Crowd-sourced travel guide to libraries around the world
library  travel  reference  books  guide 
2 hours ago by milesevenson
Convicts and Parole - Kainosite
Convicts and Parole

Les Mis adaptations often give the impression that Valjean’s parole violation is a very big deal, perhaps the worst thing he’s done since he left Toulon in the eyes of the law. He is sometimes told upon his release that if he breaks his parole he’ll be returned to the bagne. None of this is true.

Technically what we’re calling “parole” isn’t even a parole. Valjean has completed his sentence, but because he committed a felony he’s under residency and movement restrictions for the rest of his life, and any subsequent crime he commits will carry a harsher penalty. What he has is “special surveillance of the senior police”, and the law considers ducking that surveillance a problem for the police rather than the courts. At the time of Valjean’s release, it wasn’t even a criminal offense.

A Brief History

Under the Ancien Régime many groups of people were subject to movement and residency restrictions, former convicts among them. Dating back to the 1600s, there were laws that bound freed galley slaves to a specific place of residence and stated that if they were to reoffend they should be sent back to the galleys on the confirmation of their identity.

After the revolution all these laws and movement restrictions were abolished. Neither the Penal Code of 1791 nor that of 1795 mention surveillance of freed convicts, although both include escalating penalties for recidivism. Subsequent governments soon brought back the residency restrictions. On 19 ventôse, Year XIII a new decree required all convicts to declare upon their release from the bagne the commune and department in which they intended to live, and banned them from living within 30 km of the borders or in cities that were in a state of war. The next year, the decree of 17 juillet, 1806 extended the ban to Paris, Versailles, Fontainebleau and anywhere else with an imperial palace, as well as the cities where the bagnes were located. It charged the prefects and the police of the departments in which freed convicts lived with the responsibility of monitoring them, and forbade former convicts from changing their residence without the authorization of the prefect. It also laid out the system we see in place when Valjean is released from the bagne, in which the freed convict is issued travel papers with an obligatory itinerary. This measure wasn’t entirely repressive, as the decree required the itinerary to include reimbursement for travel expenses, money the convict could only collect by following the route.

(Incidentally, the musical is right to call it a “ticket of leave” rather than a “passport”. Hugo elides the difference in the novel, but as the bagnes were under the control of the Navy, the travel papers convicts were granted upon their release took the form of a military leave rather a civilian passport.)

The Code of Napoleon

Napoleon’s 1810 Code Pénal brought in a new system. It retained the escalating penalties for recidivism from the earlier penal codes, but under the new legislation police surveillance was fully integrated into the body of the law instead of being tacked on as an afterthought. There was also a different concept for how it should work. The previous decrees had imposed police surveillance and movement and residency restrictions on former convicts only, but Article 47 of the new code extended them to everyone with a serious felony conviction, whether they had been sentenced to forced labor or imprisonment. A number of lesser crimes also resulted in temporary surveillance sentences, especially juvenile offenses.

The original intent of the legislation was that offenders or their families and friends should pay a bond, a sort of surety or security deposit. If the criminal committed a second offense they would forfeit the money, which would be used to compensate their victims. The idea was that financial considerations or pressure from the relatives or friends who had put up the bond would encourage the criminal to remain honest so that they could get their money back at the completion of their sentence. It was only in the exceptional case where the offender could not or would not pay the bond that they would be subject to police surveillance.

For freed convicts and other felons the surveillance sentence was lifelong, but putting up the bond would still free them from the onerous police monitoring and residency restrictions, and it gave them an incentive to work hard and save money in prison or after their release so they could pay the bond as soon as possible. (That this system meant the wealthy would not have to put up with surveillance or residency restrictions even for a day was probably no accident.) The legislation was broadly well-intentioned, but it quickly ran into problems.

• The bond was supposed to be determined at sentencing, based on the severity of the original crime. This meant that it couldn’t take into account good or bad behavior in prison, the criminal’s remorse, or any of the other factors one might want to incorporate into a parole decision.

• The bond was set at the discretion of the public prosecutor and the victims. An 1812 ruling meant that the criminal couldn’t even ask to be assigned one; the process had to be initiated either by the ministère public or the victims, who needless to say weren’t usually too keen on enabling the criminal who had robbed them or murdered a relative to escape police surveillance.

• If, to take a random example, a convict was sent to the galleys for bread theft in 1796, long before the 1810 Code Pénal was even a glint in Napoleon’s eye, but only released in 1815, he was screwed under the new system. He had no bond set for him because the system hadn’t been in place at the time of his trial, and he had no way to request that one be assigned.

• Even if a bond was set, the government could simply refuse to accept the payment on the grounds of security concerns.

• While officials were happy to release the bourgeoisie from police surveillance, they quickly noticed that among the lower classes, the felons most likely to be able to put up the bond were those with access to large criminal networks, exactly the people they most wanted to monitor and keep away from Paris or the bagnes.

The upshot of all of this was that at least for freed convicts, the exceptional case very quickly became the rule. The great majority were placed under police surveillance and subject to movement and residency restrictions, at least for some length of time.

Breaking Parole

What, then, does breaking “parole” consist of? It’s not the increased penalties for recidivism, which are written into the penal code as an intrinsic property of any felony conviction. There’s no parole there to violate; that’s just a consequence of the original conviction that will follow the felon for the rest of their life, like the civic degradation that deprives them of the right to vote, hold public office or testify under oath.

What we’re considering here is the offense known as “rupture de ban” or dodging police surveillance: deviating from the obligatory itinerary, being caught in a proscribed location (generally Paris, although a number of other major cities and some minor ones also banned convicts), changing residence without permission, or missing one of the regularly scheduled check-ins with the police. Article 45 of the penal code states that

In case of disobedience to [the residency and movement restrictions imposed by the surveillance sentence], the government shall have the right to arrest and detain the convicted person for a period of time which may extend until the expiration of the period of special surveillance.

Two things are worth noting about this passage. One is that parole-breaking is not defined in the penal code as a felony or even as a misdemeanor. It’s not even a contravention, one of those minor offenses like traffic violations too trivial to make it into the penal code. It’s not technically a crime! Since forced labor is exclusively a felony sentence, no freed convict could be sent back to the bagne for violating their parole. The worst punishment they could face is detention in the municipal prison.

The other thing is that dealing with parole violations is entirely at the discretion of the government – that is to say, the police. There’s no mandatory minimum sentence specified by the statute, as there is for almost every crime in the penal code. And the maximum sentence is equal to the period of police surveillance, which in the case of freed convicts lasts for the rest of their lives. In theory, the police could imprison them forever. Five years of forced labor followed by a single parole violation could result in a life sentence.

In practice this seems not to have been a problem. The standard sentence for rupture de ban was two or three months in the municipal jail. If a former convict could convince the police he really had just been looking for work, he might be sent home without any punishment at all. I’ve even seen cases where the police not only let someone go, but went out of their way to find them a job. Incorrigible parole violators or people who made themselves especially obnoxious when they were caught might get six months or a year. The longest sentence I’ve seen was two years, for a guy who went on the lam for a decade and led the police on a merry dance across multiple departments and half a dozen false identities.

I have seen a fair number of parole violators detained “until further order”, usually because the police were holding them on suspicion of a crime or checking references. The French were and are pretty stingy about letting people out on remand – they’ve been rebuked by the ECHR because they have so many people in custody awaiting trial for so long – so these suspects might have been kept in preliminary detention anyway, but their status as freed … [more]
lesmiserables  reference 
3 hours ago by lannamichaels
Dimensions.Guide | Database of Dimensioned Drawings
Dimensions.Guide is a comprehensive reference database of dimensioned drawings documenting the standard measurements and sizes of the everyday objects and spaces that make up our world.
architecture  design  reference 
7 hours ago by pupi

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