Brazil’s prisons without guards and bars show lower recidivism rates. It is also spreading to the Czech Republic


In Brazilian prisons applying the APAC method, they are trying to restore human dignity to convicts. They trust them. There are also open prisons with lower recidivism rates in Europe, including the Czech Republic.

In Brazilian prisons, they are trying to restore human dignity to convicts. There are open prisons with lower recidivism in Europe as well.

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IN brazilian APAC prisons without bars and guards do not call convicts by number, but by name. They wear civilian clothes instead of uniforms and live in groups. “The basic principles are love, forgiveness and discipline,” said the model’s co-founder Valdeci Ferreira at a recent Prague conference organized by the International Prison Community.

He demonstrated the success of the method in the case of José, sentenced for violent acts to 56 years. He had twelve runs behind him, showed aggressive tendencies. After inclusion in the open jail he was sad. He had the feeling that no one believed him again.

The Czech Republic is troubled by overcrowded prisons. Recidivism is also a problem:

The Czech Republic has a lot of prisoners and recidivism. Solution? Shorter sentences, better work with convicts

Ferreira therefore decided to give him the keys to the main gate and make him the porter who raises the bar. José braced himself, did his duty and did not run away. He justified this by saying that he had no reason, because for the first time in his life someone believed him.

The numbers also show that the human approach brings results. The recidivism rate for men in APAC prisons is under fourteen percent, and for women even under three. In contrast, in ordinary Brazilian prisons relapse is almost the rule.

The method that in Brazil was born 51 years ago, but it is applied only in a fraction of prisons, about six thousand out of almost a million convicts go through the program. They work, study, go to therapy and are tired in the evening. If someone breaks the rules, they go back to tougher prisons.

Czech practice

APAC elements are also spreading to Europe. They were inspired by them, for example in Germany or the Netherlands. Even in Jiřice in Central Bohemia, in addition to the classic prison, there is also an open part of it (inspired by the Norwegian model). Over thirty prisoners who moved here from more guarded buildings are housed in terraced houses.

The tower has been operating for six years. “It’s preparation for civilian life,” said Hana Prokopová, head of the open prison. Convicts cook there, go to work, they keep animals whether they grow vegetables. Recidivism is less than 17 percent.

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At the same time, the national average is about seventy percent. “Isolating offenders from society only helps for a certain period of time. Prisoners continue to criminal activities they return,” noted the executive director of the International Prison Community, Gabriela Kabátová.

Projects aimed at emancipated prisons of the 21st century were praised by the senior director of the prisons and departmental control section at the Ministry of Justice, Petr Dohnal. “Modern principles imprisonment we support,” he told Deník.

Forever – Heart Behind the Wall (feat. Children of Imprisoned Parents):

Source: Youtube

Another open prison project is planned in Velké Přílepe, where there is a remand prison under Prague’s Ruzyna. In the Světlá nad Sázavou Prison, there is a special section for convicts mothers with children.

The spokesperson of the General Directorate of the Prison Service of the Czech Republic, Markéta Prunerová, emphasized the cooperation between the state and non-profit organizations that provide programs and services for prisoners. “They help improve their skills and prepare them for a successful re-entry into society,” she mentioned. Often these are actions aimed at children convicts and maintaining family ties.

The article is in Czech


Tags: Brazils prisons guards bars show recidivism rates spreading Czech Republic


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