The company of prisoners

Publish date 17-02-2021

by Chiara Genisio

Detained in isolation for Covid, positive agents. The sick and dead are also counted among the prison population. There are already 1,700 cases among prisoners and staff. A constantly growing figure, numbers that have led the Guarantors to ask to enlarge the meshes of the Ristori Decree of the Keeper of the Seals Bonafede (75 days of penalty discount instead of 45 every six months). A gloomy picture.

This is why the news coming from Cagliari has the flavor of hope and of the future. The promoters themselves admit that they did not believe it was possible to start their project in the middle of the pandemic. But it is happening. In the E. Scalas prison in Cagliari-Uta there is a large room, next to the door hangs a plaque engraved with Lav (or) ando, inside there is a large industrial laundry. A concrete job opportunity that looks at the social reintegration of prisoners. "We joined - reports the prison director, Marco Porcu, to a local radio - as a partner in a project presented by the Elan social cooperative, which already manages the laundry service at the Quartucciu juvenile institute". A women's company that managed to win the tender from the Foundation for the South. The four-year project is based on the training of 24 prisoners with the gradual introduction of other people to work based on the future needs of this industrial laundry within the walls of the prison.
«With great satisfaction - says the president of the Cooperative, Anna Tedde - we were able to start this business. Whose main purpose is to restore dignity to people. We now wish to find a network of companies willing, with our support, to welcome these workers who, after their internship, will also be ready to enter the world of work outside the prison ". The director of the prison is keen to point out that «this is not a simple activity of public utility, but a real business activity.Ours is a territory with a rather disadvantaged fabric for which it is not easy to find an entrepreneur who is willing to invest in a prison, so the commitment of the Elan cooperative is really very important ".

This is a social integration and reintegration project which, despite the numerous difficulties and rules of the prison institutions, involves prisoners in a socially useful job, allowing them to have a fair and equitable remuneration, to learn a profession and to still feel part of a community. A beautiful story of female entrepreneurship and social innovation.

Chiara Genisio
NP Decembre 2020

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