On this Side: Inmates find voice in art and theater

Humanitas360 and the PDR Institute support a theater program for inmates that is geared towards preparing them to return to society

From the different methods of recovering and preparing inmates to return to society, theater, dance and music are not the most common or known. However those are the tools that gave rise to the theater group called “On this Side.” This is an initiative that started in the Penitentiary Adriano Marrey in Guarulhos, São Paulo (Brazil) with the goal of dealing with the process of resocialization of inmates in a more humane and innovative way. Through the work of professionals within the judiciary branch as well as the prison system such as the judge Jayme Garcia dos Santos Junior, Valdinei Araujo de Freitas, the prison’s education director, and Igor Rocha, an educator within the prison system, several inmates have gone through the program.

For about three years, the project has developed the talents and skills of inmates that have chosen to participate in the theater group. In the process of learning drama, dance and music techniques, project leaders work at restoring participants’ self-esteem, dreams and life perspective.

As Humanitas360 and the PDR Institute believe in the potential of the theater project to foster profound and long-lasting transformation in people’s lives, and thus positively impact the Brazilian prison system, they support the program by giving it more visibility and engaging civil society. The organizations also take art and culture to prison units through activities such as movie screenings followed by debates.

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