The survey was conducted in eleven European countries with three categories of actors, by organizations acting in the judicial field:

  • Mainly persons deprived of their liberty, but also their families, as well as recently released persons,
  • Staff from prison, rehabilitation and justice,
  • Associative actors and prison chaplaincies.

Approximately 1200 questionnaires were processed, 83% of which were from persons deprived of their liberty. 8 countries reported between 28 to 465 questionnaires each, while 3 countries3 sent only one isolated response.

The survey’s approach is to listen, analyze and pass on the words of persons deprived of their liberty. We consider the opinion of those living directly in difficult situations as the best source of knowledge to improve the situation.

Without pretending to scientific rigor or representativeness, we wanted to highlight their words by crossing cultures, feelings, sociopolitical contexts, professional practices and civil society actors’ involvement in the prison-justice field. The purpose of the survey was to start with representations, the factors likely to (re)claim an autonomous citizen’s life.

We designated this progression with the concept of self-determination. The survey will have achieved its operational goal when it will have contributed to the promotion of good practices that make the person that has passed under justicial control more fulfilled and responsible.