During a meeting with the president of the Justice Court of Maranhão, Joaquim Figueiredo, the state secretary of Maranhão of Penitentiary Administration, Murilo Andrade, and the state secretary of public security, Jefferson Portela, representatives of the Humanitas360 Institute and of the National Justice Council signed an agreement to create the fourth cooperative of inmates and ex-inmates in Brazil. After the meeting, which took place at the head office of the Justice Department of the state on May 21, a full schedule of visits to prisons, state secretariats and social organizations in the state capital of São Luís helped form local partnerships and hash out the details for the implementation of the project.
This new cooperative created by H360 is part of the project entitled “Present Justice”, which is a partnership of the National Justice Council and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with the objective of dealing with the crisis of Brazil’s criminal justice and prison system. The National Justice Council was represented by its secretary general, Carlos Vieira Von Adamek, and the judge that coordinates the Department of Fiscalization of the Prison System, Luís Geraldo Lanfredi. H360 was represented by its vice-president of operations, Ricardo Anderáos.
During the trip, the team visited men’s prison in the Penitentiary Complex of Pedrinhas, which became known for the bloody rebellions in 2013, when 60 people were killed. The women’s penitentiary of Pedrinhas, which is the newest unit of the complex, was chosen to house H360’s project.
In the process of searching for local social organizations to disseminate the model of entrepreneurship behind and beyond bars, H360 visited the head office of the Social Cooperative of the State of Maranhão (COOSEMA), which is formed by professionals and activists involved with the issue of incarceration and the prison system. The co-op focuses on professional training and income generation activities for ex-inmates. The model developed by its founder, André Barreto, compliments the one developed by H360, which opens the opportunity for both organizations to work together in a wide range of projects. Moreover, COOSEMA already receives support from the Ação pela Paz Institute, which is also a partner of H360.