Clairvaux Prison

The former Abbey, now the Clairvaux Prison

Clairvaux Prison is a high-security prison in France, on the grounds of the former Clairvaux Abbey (Coordinates 48.146663° 4.788483°).

1971 revolt

In 1971, two convicts, Claude Buffet and Roger Bontems, took as hostages a nurse, Nicole Comte, and a prison guard, Guy Girardot. Buffet subsequently murdered them. Buffet and Bontems were captured. Bontems, whose defence counsel included Robert Badinter, contended that the murder was Buffet's idea.

Buffet said that he wanted death. Both were sentenced to death by the "assises" court in June 1972 and were guillotined.[1]

2006 manifesto

On 16 January 2006, several detainees who were serving life sentences in Clairvaux Prison, having each spent from 6 to 28 years in prison, signed a manifesto denouncing the "false" abolition of the death penalty. They declared that it had resulted in a slow and continuous punishment, a death in life. They called for restoration of the death penalty.

The convicts specifically denounced the French Republic which claimed, in accordance with the "advises of the European Council", that the "enforcing of prison sentences... has been conceived not only in order to protect society and assure the punishment of the convict, but also to favour his amendement and prepare his rehabilitation". They stated, "In reality: everything is for the punishment."[2]

Notable prisoners

In fiction


See also


Coordinates: 48°08′47″N 4°47′20″E / 48.1464°N 4.7888°E / 48.1464; 4.7888

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