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Looking for legitimacy: prison in dispute between organised crime and model experiences

Grant number: 21/08257-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2021
Effective date (End): December 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology - Other specific Sociologies
Principal Investigator:Sergio França Adorno de Abreu
Grantee:Sergio Grossi
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07923-7 - Center of the Study of Violence - NEV/USP, AP.CEPID
Associated scholarship(s):21/14215-5 - An English model experience of reintegration and education: the case of Grendon prison, BE.EP.PD


Criminal organisations represent one of the main causes of homicidal violence, and they pose a potential problem for Brazil's young democracy. These organisations are born, in prisons, where they also grow and gather strength. In this context, we find a drastic increase in people who are incarcerated, mostly from the poorest levels of society and those with lower levels of education.In spite of national and international laws that provide for the social reintegration and education of people who are incarcerated, we are facing a failure of this objective, which contributes to delegitimizing the state and legitimizing criminal organizations. Through this research, we intend to compare different model experiences of education and reintegration that can dispute legitimacy with criminal organizations, contributing to greater respect for human rights and increased inclusion of prisoners in society. The experience of the Spanish model of respect modules that is expanding to other countries and the experience of the English model of Grendon, which includes the Cambridge Institute of Criminology among promoters of educational programmes defined as innovative, will be studied in depth. These experiences will be investigated through analysis of the documents produced, as well as ethnography involving an extended period of participant observation and open and semi-structured interviews. These experiences will be compared with other experiences already studied in the literature, and in particular with the model experiences in São Paulo and the training provided by the PCC to its members. With this research we intend to analyse and compare different model experiences, in order to propose a model of education for social integration that can increase confidence in public institutions and democracy, thus disputing the prison space with criminal organisations. (AU)

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