Conexao Liberdade is an online platform that sells manufactured products made by female prisoners in Brazil. It aims to empower and reintroduce female prisoners back to society, consequently reducing criminal recidivism, which is approximately 30% for female prisoners in Brazil right now. Currently, Conexao Liberdade only takes part in selling products that have already been made, but the next stage of the project is to provide training in prison and give aid to the actual process of production.
Female incarceration is increasing at an alarming rate in Brazil. Between 2007 and 2014, the population of female prisoners increased by 96%. Drug dealing accounts for 68% of all female prisoners. When unemployed, many of them see drug dealing as a viable alternative for generating family income. While imprisoned, these women have no way of earning money, which in turn results in a high rate of recidivism after being released in an effort to support their children and families.
Currently, Conexao Liberdade offers an online commercial platform for products that have already been made. Each production group has its own store or brand within the website. This project also provides female prisoners with operational solutions of payment and shipping, as well as strategies for advertising and marketing. The next step for Conexao Liberdade is to expand its network and carry out training on how to actually make products in prison.
Conexao Liberdade aims to reduce the rate of female criminal recidivism. Giving female prisoners an opportunity to generate income and empower themselves makes them less likely to return to crime after getting released. What accompanies reduced recidivism is economic development. With a larger share of the population in the labor market and a reduction in the cost spent on prisoners, the government can invest more money and resources on other public sectors.