Informations and abstract
This article shows the results of an empirical research that studied the prison practices. In particular, the research investigate on the role of the Italian "educational areas" in the prison everyday procedures. The educational areas in the Italian prison system are a particular field of the prison staff that have the formal role to improve the rehabilitation of the inmates. The research has been carried out after a ten months of direct observation of the everyday procedures of a prison of the north of Italy. In particular, the researcher conduct the study when he was employed by the Italian prison administration, performing the functions of prison educator. The research raises on two main issues. The first one is the capacity of the prison operators to reduce the pain of punishment. The second one is the impact of the operative practices of the educational areas on the criminalization process. Regards the first question, the author's answer is negative. The direct observation of the everyday prison practices suggest the incapacity of the educative staff to reduce the negative effects of imprisonment. Rather, the author find a process of lack of responsibility by which the operators consider impossible to intervene in favor of marginal subjects. The impact of the practices of the educational areas, furthermore, seems to give priority to detainees with more resources. In contrast, underclass prisoners' results completely excluded from the benefits provided by the Italian Penitentiary Law. The conclusion is the confirmation of the thesis that assert that prison cannot work. The proposal is its abolition in favor of punitive instruments more consistent with the protection of human rights.