Individual Uruguay

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Individual Uruguay

Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

By changing attitudes among police, judges, prison wardens, and others in the criminal enforcement system-and introducing low-cost solutions that ease reentry for young inmates after their release-Virginia Varela is dramatically reducing recidivism among Uruguay's first-time offenders.

About Project

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Having seen that a few carefully chosen interventions can determine whether a newly released inmate resumes a life of criminal behavior or not, Virginia is introducing low-cost services that help young prisoners who have been jailed for comparatively brief terms get back on their feet after their release. Her work starts in the prison, where she provides counseling, private tutoring in select subjects, and off-site vocational training. More importantly, she makes sure that these young inmates have a place to go and an opportunity to forge a new life after their release. To do this, she has convinced businesses to employ former inmates and arrange three-month mentorships that commence from the time of hire to provide encouragement and training during the critical adjustment period. Having proven the effectiveness of her approach in Montevideo's largest juvenile detention center, Virginia is increasing her organization to include eight additional prisons in Uruguay, with plans to use her existing network to spread elements of her work throughout Latin America.