Summary of “‘I have no thought of escaping’: inside the Brazilian prisons with no guards”

At an Apac jail, there are no guards or weapons, and inmates literally hold the keys.
A visit to the Apac men’s and women’s prisons in Ita├║na subverts all expectations about the penal system in Brazil, where overcrowding, squalor and gang rivalry regularly cause deadly riots.
In contrast with mainstream prisons, Apac inmates are addressed by name rather than number.
Another reason inmates uphold the strict routine of work and study required by Apac – under which no one is permitted to stay in their cells unless they are sick or being punished – is that an escape attempt would return them to the mainstream system, which all inmates have experienced before.
Apac prisons, coordinated and supported by the Italian AVSI Foundation, impose a limit of 200 inmates to prevent overcrowding.
Founded in 1972 by evangelical Christians to provide a humanising alternative to mainstream prisons, the system has now reached 49 jails in Brazil, and has branches in Costa Rica, Chile and Ecuador.
In mainstream prisons, tens of thousands are detained, sometimes for years, before their cases even go to trial.
Across town, in the open section of at the Apac women’s prison, inmate Aguimara Campos, 30, explains her role as president of the eight-member council of sincerity and solidarity, which organises some aspects of prison life and is a bridge with the administration.

The orginal article.