The president of São Paulo’s Court of Justice, Judge Manoel de Queiroz Pereira Calças, received Humanitas360’s board of directors in his office on May 21st. As well as presenting to him the project of inmates co-ops in the state’s penitentiaries, the president of H360, Patrícia Villela Marino, granted support for the Organization of American States (OAS)’s event about penitentiary policy, to be held in the Court’s headquarters later this year.
Mr. Calças expressed great sympathy for the initiative of implementing working cooperatives within prisons. The only program of this kind in Brazil was created in the outskirts of Belém do Pará, by the director of the female prison of Ananindeua. About 200 inmates have taken part in the program, of which none have returned to criminal life since being released. “I believe very much in the power of laborotherapy, since I started in the magistracy in 1976,” Calças said.
Assistant judges Camila de Jesus Mello Gonçalves and Marco Fábio Morsello, who support the work of the President of the Court of Justice, were also present, together with the Director of Projects and Finance of H360, Alessandro Tomasi, in order to secure the deal between H360, the Court of Justice and the Government of the State of São Paulo. The document, which is being prepared jointly by all parties, aims to create the institutional framework for cooperatives in penitentiaries in São Paulo, in order to assure the project’s continuity.
Another Court member to attend the meeting was Judge Otávio Augusto de Almeida Toledo, who is leading the initiative to bring to São Paulo’s court the National Meeting of Officials Responsible for Penitentiary and Prison Policies of the Member States of the Organization of American States (OAS). In order to make the initiative feasible, Toledo is articulating a coalition that brings together other organizations. Apart from H360, possible partners could include the institute Ação Pela Paz and the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp).