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Devils Island is a small inlet eight miles off of the French Guianan Coast This settlement was apart of the French penal colony that was used from 1852-1946 Devils Island is apart of the Iles du Salute which also consist of the Royale Islands and Saint-Josephs Island These islands were formerly known as Iles du Diable The Island was a place for France to send its prisoners There were three levels that the prisoners could be classified in because of their behavior They are as followed 1 Habitual Criminals- permitted to work 2 Political Criminals- permitted to limited liberty 3 Felons-had to perform hard labor If a prisoner was sentenced to 8 years or less they had to spend that sentence in French Guiana From 1885 charges of eight years or more had to stay on Devils Island for life The Dreyfus Affair that made Devils Island known more than it was already was a controversy when Alfred Dreyfus was convicted on a charge of treason in 1894 He was accused of writing an anonymous bordereau containing military secrets on France This was supposed to be delivered to the German Embassy in Paris Dreyfus was found guilty in 1984 He was immediately sent to Devils Island to be imprisoned for the rest of his life In 1899 Dreyfus was pardoned Seven years later he was restored as major in the army and received the Legion of Honor Papillon is a movie staring Steve McQueen nicknamed Papillon because of the butterfly on his chest and Dustin Hoffman who played Louis Dega a man protected by Papillon in exchange for financial help for escape plans This movie was released in 1973 As seen in the movie some prisoners that had already served their time worked on the island hunting prisoners that tired to escape There werent that many to hunt because many of the prisoners were sick and had no where to go but the
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