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France Prison Committee Forms

February 2, 2000

PARIS (AP) _ A parliamentary commission adopted a resolution Wednesday to form a special committee to investigate conditions in French prisons after a book shocked France with its graphic descriptions of a Paris penitentiary.

The National Assembly is expected to approve creation of the 30-member committee on Thursday. The assembly’s president, Laurent Fabius, has offered to head the commission, which should present its report in six months.

The issue was raised in a new book by a prison medical official, Veronique Vasseur, that exposed violent and filthy conditions at the Prison de la Sante in Paris.

After ``Chief Doctor at La Sante Prison″ was published, Justice Minister Elisabeth Guigou announced a $2.5 million renovation package for the prison.

The parliamentary group will study issues such as rehabilitation and alternatives to incarceration, said Socialist lawmaker Raymond Forni, who proposed the committee.

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