10 July Jul 2012 0825 10 July 2012

AVSI at the 7th APACs National Conference

The event, organized by the Association for Protection and Assistance of Prisoners (APAC - Associação de Proteçao e Assistência aos condenados), in collaboration with theFraternidade Brasileira de Assistencia aos Condenados (FBAC), the Prison Fellowship International (PFI), the AVSI Foundation, the Brazilian organization Instituto Minas Pela Paz, the Minas Gerais Department of Justice, the State Secretariat of Social Defence (Secretaria de Estado da Defesa Social- SEDS), will take place in the City of Itauna, Minas Gerais, on July 19-22.

The aim of the Conference is to carry out a joint assessment on APACs’40 years experience involving the several partners who have fostered the growth and spread of this experience in Brazil as well as in other countries.

On July 20, AVSI will participate in the round table APACs and Partnership: a two-lane road” together with Cledorvino Belini (Fiat Automóveis/Istituto Minas pela Paz), Gustavo Salazzar (ATERPA Group) Irmão José Augusto Júnior (Congregação dos Irmãos Maristas).
The Association for Protection and Assistance of Prisoners (APAC - Associação de Proteçao e Assistência aos condenados) is a Brazilian not-for-profit organization which has been developing a unique approach to prison regime since 1972.
APAC’s methodology, which today is considered as a reference point also at the international level, is based on the concept of human valorization and aims to create a community in the prison that builds responsibility and an ethic of care in the prisoner. APAC facilities are run by volunteers and trusted prisoners, not by the government prison police. Prisoners are given increased responsibility for the operation of the prison as they respond to the trust that is extended to them. Even the man who opens the prison’s door is a prisoner.
In 2008, through the partnership with Fiat Automóveis, AVSI started to support and spread APAC’s experience. In 2010, in partnership with the the Brazilian organization Instituto Minas pela Paz,the Minas Gerais Department of Justice, the Fraternidade Brasileira de Assistência aos Condenados, and with funding from the European Union, AVSI started up the Alem dos Muros (“Beyond the walls”) project with the aim of strenghtening 24 APACs in the State of Minas Gerais and fostering prisoner’s human rights and social inclusion. From an initial 150 prisoners living in the structures at the beginning of the current project now there are between 1,500-2,000 and the number continues to grow.
Today the work done in Brazil is also supporterted by local authorities, the Ministry of Justice and competent bodies such as the Court of Justice. APAC has gained international recognition as an effective approach to reducing recidivism rates and a real alternative to the current prison system which is often inefficient, inhumane and degrading.

In this regard it’s also significant the collaboration with the international Association Giovanni Paolo XXIII.

download the publication: UM NOVO OLHAR ALÉM DOS MUROS