The Humanitas360 Institute presented the project of cooperatives of inmates during the panel discussion entitled “Behind and Beyond Bars: Innovative Solutions for Reducing Recidivism”, at the UN headquarters in New York. The event, which happened on December 13th, presented a pioneering proposal of bringing social entrepreneurship to the prison system, serving as a tool able to empower individuals, and reduce recidivism and violence on the streets.
The potential impact of the cooperatives of inmates and ex-inmates in Brazilian society was presented by H360’s Vice-president, Piero Bonadeo. “We want to bring to the international community innovative examples to break the cycle of violence, whether it is through employing entrepreneurship towards people’s personal and socioeconomic development, or through an example of an innovative cooperation between the public sector and civil society,” said Bonadeo.
Simone Monasebian, director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and Erin Trapp, director of the Biennial of the Americas, also participated in the panel. “During the event, it became clear that the model of creating enterprises inside prisons is unique in the world, and can inspire alternatives to other contexts such as refugee camps, which was a possibility brought up during the event,” said Bonadeo. Entrepreneurship in the prison system has the potential of, with the support of Brazil, entering the UN guide of best practices in penitentiary service management.