Tunisia: prisons reforms through international influence

Since 2011, Tunisia has known numerous transformations, such as the reform of the prison system.

At the start of 2011, Tunisian people massively protested to end the government of dictatorship of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who had been in power since 1987. This revolution spawned democratic uprising in some neighbouring countries like Egypt, Libya, and Syria. This period, known as the ‘Arab Spring’, still leaves the region with some upheavals. Tunisia appeared as the only country that managed to establish a democratic regime, despite existing instability.
Many actors in the international community subsequently provided support in order to strengthen rule of law, security and economy. The justice and prison systems have in particular been reformed: These elements put Tunisia at the centre stage of reformation with regard to prison institutions.

Yasmine Bouagga, sociologist, wildly carries out research on prisons. Her latest work relates to the circulation of standards and the reform process. She has recently taken an interest in the development of the prison system in Tunisia. Prison Insider asks her three questions.

The riots that led to the fall of Ben Ali were followed by mutinies in prisons.

There is also a symbolic factor about the influence that state powers can exercise in different regions of the world.

The multiplicity of interventions has nevertheless led to a certain cacophony.