No one escapes from love
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UNGUARDED takes us inside the walls of APAC, the revolutionary Brazilian prison system centered on the full recovery and rehabilitation of the person. Beginning in 1972, APAC founder Dr. Mario Ottoboni volunteered in some of Brazil’s worst prisons. Seeing men and women frequently return to a life of crime once they left prison, Dr. Ottoboni decided to found his own restorative justice-based system. The results have been extraordinary: while the crime rate and recidivism rates have continued to increase in Brazil's public prisons, within the APAC (Association for the Protection and Assistance of Convicts) system they have steadily decreased. UNGUARDED explores the unique method behind this system, now present in twenty three countries across four continents. Observing the daily lives of the “recuperandos” (recovering inmates) who live and work there, we see firsthand why—as one inmate puts it—“no one escapes from love."
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For more information about the APAC alternative prison method depicted in Unguarded, see a comprehensive guide prepared by FBAC (Brazilian Fraternity of Assistance to the Convicted) here and a Justice Trends interview with FBAC Executive Director Valdeci Ferreira here.
I wholeheartedly recommend Unguarded. It brings a blow of hope and optimism, showing that every human being may experience redemption. Well shot and edited, the film conveys a deep humanism.
— Krzysztof Zanussi, Acclaimed documentary filmmaker and co-founder of the European Film Academy
The APAC experience can be conveyed in the following true story.
An inmate notorious for his routine escapes from Brazil’s mainstream prisons was sent to an APAC facility. Many were naturally skeptical of this decision and expected the inmate to be gone the very next day. (For there are, after all, no guards to prevent him from leaving.) But one of the APAC volunteers sensed an opportunity to trust the method and, just as importantly, to trust the inmate. The following morning the inmate was still there. And the morning after that. And the morning after that. Finally, some APAC volunteers asked him why he, an inmate known for escaping, had not fled the APAC prison. His answer? “Nobody escapes from love.” His words now adorn the walls of every APAC prison.
Unguarded will show this love for the human person in action and propose it to viewers in America and elsewhere as a viable alternative to a system that currently fails victims, offenders, and society at large.