French theorist of incarceration and prison reformer. Born 1803, died 1889.

A lifelong opponent of the death penalty, Lucas became, in 1836, the inspector-general of the French prison system. In this capacity, he instituted a number of reforms, including separation of temporary and long-term inmates; cells (to replace collective holding tanks); juvenile prisons; and the creation of prison societies, whose function was to support the resocialisation of released inmates.

In 1865, Lucas had to retire for medical reasons (he was suffering from an eye disease, which was slowly taking away his sight). Undaunted, he kept up his struggle for reforms to the very end.

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