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La relégation des récidivistes en Guyane française. Les relégués au bagne colonial de Saint-Jean-du-Maroni, 1887-1953.

Abstract : Our thesis concerns the study of the penal colonization of the French Guiana by one relegated interned in the penal colony of Saint-Jean-du-Maroni. The law on the banishment of the recidivists voted May 27th, 1885 entails the exile for life within a colony of delinquents and criminal recidivists. From 1887 till 1953, Guyana is so going to receive more than 17 000 condemned persons intended to become colonists and to become integrated in economic and social structures of the colony. The targets of this law are essentially delinquents recidivists condemned for offences of common theft, swindle and wandering and their " social elimination " bases on a unique mechanics in the history of the French criminal law. The banishment indeed fits out a " irrefragable assumption of incorrigibility " which bases on a quantum, that is on a number of punishments which, if they are quite registered on the police record of a condemned person recidivist, entail the compulsory pronouncement for the magistrate of the punishment of the banishment. This law so determines a positive threshold which dedicates the existence of criminals and delinquents said incorrigible. Our work thus bases on one hand on the analysis of the construction of the penal category of incorrigible criminals whom the banishment comes to dedicate in law from 1885 and articulates on the other hand on the modalities of application of this measure on the ground of the metropolis then on that of the colony. The process of elaboration of the banishment is made within a political configuration which leads the legislators to undergo multiple pressures and to take into account conclusions brought out by actors' large number outer the parliamentary sphere. The origin of this law is so strongly packaged by experts of the crime and the punishments, by magistrates and by statisticians who are going to build in their respective fields of activity a representation of the criminality which bases on a fundamental distinction from the second half of the XIXth century: the sharing between criminals of accident either second-hand and criminal usually or incorrigible. These last ones correspond to all those whom the classic penalty, that is the detention, does not any more succeed in "correcting" and the multiple second offenses of which they are guilty show to the eyes of the legislators their turned out dangerousness. In this plan, the banishment allows to guarantee in the metropolis its security by exiling them beside herself and allows to hope their recovery thanks to a change of saving "environment". But the banishment, by labelling as incorrigible all the condemned persons whom it affects, does not miss to indicate them as such on the ground of the colony. The stigma of the incorrigibility so pursues the relegated in Guyana and, shared by the actors to condemn them in mainland France, it is also shared in Guyana by the actors to facilitate and to organize their reintegration. Far from facilitating their spot installation, the banishment is so similar to a condemnation to the hard labor and the relegated remain a workforce essentially employed on the needs of a penal colony.
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Contributor : Jean-Lucien Sanchez <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 8:10:37 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 3:48:26 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, October 29, 2010 - 10:32:17 AM


  • HAL Id : tel-00506778, version 1


Jean-Lucien Sanchez. La relégation des récidivistes en Guyane française. Les relégués au bagne colonial de Saint-Jean-du-Maroni, 1887-1953.. Histoire. Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), 2009. Français. ⟨tel-00506778⟩



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