Religions and prison

The Religion and Prison System project is fruit of a partnership between the Institute of Religious Studies (Iser) and the Social Work Department of the State Secretary of Penitentiary Administration of Rio de Janeiro (SEAP-RJ), the project hopes to evaluate the management of religious work in Rio’s prisons. In September 2012, an agreement was made between ISER and SEAP, to create an official partnership between the two institutions, which began in May of the same year.

ISER, invited by the Social Work Department of SEAP, started a research project about religious work, listening to social actors who work or worked in the prison system, such as religious agents, public agents, researchers and legal practitioners, with the idea of mapping perceptions about this work, including how they use these juridical and normative devices. Through the understanding of the current activities in the prison units, it is possible to promote actions and indications in the field of public policy, which can strengthen the rights of the imprisoned and also governmental management.

The agreement’s guideline is resolution no. 8, of the 9th November 2011, of the National Council of Criminal and Penitentiary Policies (CNPCP), responsible for standardizing religious activities within the penitentiary units in Brazil, establishing a deadline for the adaption of these standards, which before was the responsibility of the state secretaries of penitentiary administration.

Raquel Fabeni