By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Government sources report that the prisons managed by the Department of Penitentiary Administration, in partnership with the PRONATEC, will start the year with six new courses focusing on the job training for inmates. The courses are in: recycling, retail window design, doormen and security, event reception, hospitality reception and commercial baking.
In the program, each class will have approximately twenty inmates, which will be held at the Talavera Bruce, Nelson Hungria, Oscar Stevenson, Joaquim Ferreira de Souza and Plácido Sá Carvalho prisons. According to the Secretary os Social Integration, the new training module may increase the number of graduates, which currently already reaches more than 4,000.
Colonel Erir Ribeiro Costa Filho, of the Secretary of Penitentiary Administration, said the courses contribute to the reintegration into society. “It is important to help companies to assist in the rehabilitation.”
Currently, they offer training courses in; occupational safety, construction, plumbing, electrical, bricklaying, hairdressing, eyebrow design, office management, waiting tables, gardening, heavy machinery operator, among others. Currently, the Rio de Janeiro prison system accounts for about 2,300 inmates in various labor activities, plus over 3,600 are involved in educational activities.
A survey released in June 2015, by Brazil’s Secretary General’s office confirmed that the country’s prison population grew by 74 percent between 2005 and 2012, totaling more than half a million detainees. Brazil today has the fourth largest prison population in the world only behind Russia, the U.S. and China.
According to the survey the rise in the prison population was boosted by the increase of young people, blacks and women behind bars. The data obtained from the Integrated System of Penitentiary Information (InfoPen), an agency linked to the Ministry of Justice, shows that approximately 54.8 percent of Brazil’s detainees are young people.