At the Catholic University of Porto, Valdeci spoke to a crowd of over 200 lawyers, justice officials, students, members of the media, and PF volunteers. During the three hour meeting, he explained the problems with the current prison regimes and why the APAC methodology is more effective for social restoration and reintegration of prisoners. In relaying the principles and values so important to the methodology, Valdeci told of his personal experiences with APAC and showed a video presentation.
The Academic Jesuit Centre for Reflection and Encounters invited Valdeci to spend an evening with close to 100 students. During this time, he again presented about the APAC methodology and the principles of a justice that restores.
PF Portugal took the opportunity of these events to organize its annual volunteer conference in Porto. Along with Valdeci’s presentation on APAC, Dominique Alexandre from PFI provided a one-hour overview of the PFI mission and vision, restorative justice, and the Sycamore Tree Project®. The 40 PF Portugal volunteers were joined by a deputy director of the Portuguese Prison Service, prison directors, a social worker, and lawyers.
Several media outlets covered the various events and discussed the APAC methodology. PF Portugal provides a link to the various Portuguese language articles on its website at http://fiar-linho.blogspot.com/2009/10/noticias-acerca-da-vinda-de-valdeci.html. ________________________________________
Recent News from IFI The InnerChange Freedom Initiative continues to operate in five U.S. states, serving both male and female prisoners. Currently, it is working toward its goal of becoming fully self-funding by the end of 30 June 2011. To this end IFI staff and volunteers from all the IFI programmes recently attended a two-day training session on local fundraising strategies.
Re-entry is another area of concern. IFI – and PF USA in general – is working to develop resources and collaborative relationships with other organisations. In September, the first Out4Life Conference in an IFI state took place in Little Rock, Arkansas. The conference featured a wide range of speakers from the faith and secular communities active in prisoner re-entry. This event provided an opportunity for the formation of coalitions in major population centres where the majority of prisoners are released. Since the conference, three coalitions have met and started networking to serve ex-offenders returning to their communities. The IFI staffs (IFI works with two units in Arkansas) are pleased to have these support networks in place to serve IFI members upon release.
For more information on re-entry issues please see these resources collected by PFI’s Centre for Offender Transformation http://www.pfi.org/cot/ex-offender/re-entry.
Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Brazil, Portugal, and the USA.
Communities of Restoration is brought to you by the Centre for Justice and Reconciliation, a programme of Prison Fellowship International.
To submit an article to Communities of Restoration or request help, e-mail Lynette Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Compiled and edited by Lynette Parker and Dan Van Ness
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