From prison to the outside world via the forest

Through its "Les chantiers extérieurs de justice" (Community Service Projects), Sendra AI (intermediary association) helps prisoners reintegrate society after they have completed their sentence, while also contributing to environmental protection.

Social and Employment

Draguignan, France

Alain Mascré

12 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2006/03/28
  Project leader Sendra Al

«  Having come across this association on several occasions, I have seen first-hand the positive results of their actions on the local social fabric. Further, this project provides relevant social action with sustainable development by reducing the risk of forest fires in the Haute Var Mountains.  »

Alain Mascré

March 2004. A section of the so-called French Perben II law included provisions to help combat recidivism more effectively. One of the ways mentioned was to reduce the number of "cold releases" from prison. The new legal framework enables sentencing judges to grant external placement orders. The prisoner, freed under legal supervision, can work, gain training or a qualification and start to build up a small savings fund.

Initially, Sendra AI, a socially-orientated workplace reintegration association, employed people on the RMI (occupational integration minimum income) benefit, and focused its activities on heritage restoration and environmental protection against the risk of fire.

Useful work for the community

Today, it is extending this project to prisoners having served their sentence in response to the opportunities created by the Perben II law. The prisoners recruited are all volunteers, eligible for the RMI benefit and paid for their work. They help maintain the forests in sixteen municipalities in France's Centre and Haute Var regions, gradually moving back into paid employment. Often working in difficult terrain, they also provide a very real service to the regions' municipalities and population, as this undergrowth clearance cannot be done by the municipalities with their available resources. The current program includes around ten "community service projects."

The forecast budget of 600,000 euros is mainly for salaries, operational expenses and the purchase of two four-wheel drive vehicles. The 12,000 euros granted by the Veolia foundation will be put toward the purchase of these vehicles.