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Valdeci Ferreira

When he was 21 years old, Valdeci Ferreira decided that his life's purpose was the rehabilitation of criminals. His dedication over the last three decades made the number of APACs leap from 1 to 49 units spread out in five Brazilian states, accommodating approximately 3,500 convicts. He was received in 2016 by Pope Francis as part of a conference organized by UNIAPAC (the Christian Union of Business executives) on Business Leaders as Agents of Economic and Social Inclusion.

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Non-profit Social Enterprise
Human Enhancement; Social Innovation; Human Rights
Areas of Impact
Latin America, Brazil


FBAC is the Brazilian Fraternity which oversees 49 units of privately-run detention centres over five Brazilian states. Each local unit is called APAC - Association for the Protection and Assistance of the Convicted. The Fraternity acts like a "franchise" model. Its role is to congregate, orient and oversee all of 49 APACs, provide training and legal support, and ensure that the prisoner rehabilitation methodology is applied correctly. This includes regular inspections, visits, and support to 100 APACs under implementation.

FBAC is also responsible for engaging Judiciary, Legislative and Executive Branches on the implementation, consolidation and expansion of APACs, as well as promotion of the model internationally. Nowadays, there are APACs in 23 countries including: Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Italy, Germany, and Uruguay. Under Valdeci Ferreira's leadership for more than three decades, APACs have proven to be an effective alternative to the Brazilian state-run prison system by reducing recidivism rates to 20% - 28%.

This is accomplished through a 12-point proven methodology that includes the following: community participation, recoveree helping the recoveree, work, spirituality, legal assistance, healthcare, human valorisation, family, merit and volunteering. The units do not have armed guards and inmates manage all the kitchen work, cleaning, and maintenance. As a result, the per-prisoner cost in the APAC system is just 30% that of traditional prisons. The conditions for convicts to enter an APAC are that they must be convicted to a jail sentence, must be resident in the region where the sentence is served and must express along with their family the desire to change life in writing. If the inmate fulfils these requirements, he will wait until the judge decides on his transfer from the common prison, according to APAC vacancies.


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