In conjunction with the “Humanize Prison Sentences, Promote Life” project, AVSI and FBAC are seeking to promote the APAC method, which has had astounding success at rehabilitating inmates, and to denounce the rampant abuse and violence in Brazil’s prison system.
“The APAC method promotes the inmate’s social reintegration and leads to concrete and positive results for the whole of society,” says Sabatiello. “In Brazil’s penitentiary system, the violence amplifies the problem instead of solving it.”
A humanizing alternative to mainstream prisons, the APAC method was developed in 1972 by a group of volunteers led by Mário Ottoboni, a lawyer and journalist.
The Association for Protection and Assistance to Convicts (APAC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the recovery and social reintegration of prisoners. Without losing sight of the prisoner’s sentence, the APAC method believes that humanizing the experience of prison life contributes to the successful rehabilitation of the individual into society.
Over the years, various indicators demonstrated the validity of this methodology, including a dramatically lower rate of recidivism. In the APAC facilities, the recidivism rate is only 15% for men and 5% for women, while in mainstream prisons, the statistic can reach 85% and 15% respectively.
The APAC method is based on a few elements: community involvement, mutual aid, work, spirituality, legal assistance, health care, family, voluntary work, and merit.
“Twelve countries in three continents have already adopted the APAC method, proving its effectiveness,” says FBAC Director, Valdeci Ferreira, listing Germany, Portugal, Italy, and the Netherlands in Europe; South Korea in Asia; Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico in Latin America. “APACs offer a concrete alternative to the traditional detention system, in particular related to law enforcement.”