May 25, 2021


Filmmakers team up with 4th Purpose Foundation to bring an award-winning film about APAC’s innovative approach to prison transformation to U.S. jails and prisons. The first showing will take place on May 27, 2021 at the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office Transitional Work Program in Louisiana  


Director Simonetta d’Italia-Wiener is partnering with 4th Purpose Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of the incarcerated, to bring the award-winning documentary “Unguarded” to jails and prisons across the U.S. The documentary chronicles APAC’s (Association for the Protection and Assistance of Convicts) revolutionary method for prison system transformation that’s centered on the full recovery and rehabilitation of the person. The first showing of “Unguarded” will take place on May 27, 2021 at the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office Transitional Work Program in Louisiana. The documentary was produced with AVSI-USA support.

“We are excited to bring 'Unguarded' to jails and prisons across the U.S.,” said 4th Purpose Foundation founder and CEO Josh Smith. “By showing our incarcerated men and women what can be achieved from the inside, our hope is that we will begin to see jails and prisons as places for transformation rather than punishment. What the APAC methodology achieved in Brazil could serve as a model for our prison system as well.”

Filmmakers and 4th Purpose Foundation hope that the showing of “Unguarded” at the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office Transitional Work Program in Louisiana will encourage others to show the film as well. 

“We are so pleased to be working with Warden Jessica Davis of the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office,” said Dr. Kristi Anderson, Research and Program Officer at 4th Purpose Foundation. “She demonstrates her belief in the power of rehabilitation by working hard to provide transformational opportunities for those in her custody. We hope her example inspires others in the corrections field to consider similar programming.” 

Beginning in 1972, APAC founder Dr. Mario Ottoboni volunteered in some of Brazil’s worst prisons. Seeing men and women frequently return to a life of crime once they left prison, Dr. Ottoboni decided to found his own restorative justice-based system. The results have been extraordinary: while the crime rate and recidivism rates have continued to increase in Brazil’s public prisons, within the APAC system they have steadily decreased.

Directed by Simonetta d’Italia-Wiener and produced by T.J Berden with the financial support from 4th Purpose Foundation, “Unguarded” explores the unique method behind APAC’s system. APAC is now present in twenty-three countries across four continents. Observing the daily lives of the “recuperandos” who live and work there, viewers will see firsthand why no one escapes from love. APAC’s restorative approach begins with the name it uses to refer to the people who live in prisons. Instead of calling the people inmates or prisoners, APAC calls them recuperandos because they are “people in the process of rehabilitation.” 

“APAC’s approach is opposite to most prisons, and that’s why we wanted to share it with the world,” said "Unguarded" director and producer Simonetta d'Italia-Wiener. “Instead of making the incarcerated feel bad, guilty, and like failures, APAC works to make people feel worthy, respected, and able to restore their lives. APAC gives people hope that they can contribute something to help others and that they can be of service in some way, no matter what their situation.”



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