Association of Friends and Family of Prisoners – Amparar

Project Shelter

São Paulo

Objectives and target audience

The initiative looks to provide orientation for the relatives and friends of inmates in the prison system in relation to their social rights; offer a space for psychological support for these friends and relatives; draw attention to the problems facing the penal system; further develop the association’s political dimension; and, finally, contribute to the development of a critical consciousness and political emancipation of those involved.

Main activities

• Assistance and legal orientation
• Campaigns to end humiliating full-body searches, the pharmaceuticalization of incarcerated adolescents, against mass-incarceration policies;
• Informative pamphlets and folders about past campaigns, with political content based on critical criminology, written using popular, accessible language;
• Three public workshops with the following themes: “Humiliating Search”, “Criminalization of Funk and Poor Neighborhoods” and “What is Public Safety?”;
• Creation of a popular observatory on violence, torture and assassination, in order to accompany denunciations of prison violence, torture and assassination in incarceration units.


The state of São Paulo possesses the highest number of imprisoned adults in the country, 195,000, and of adolescents in juvenile detention, 9,016. This calamitous context in the public jails and incarceration units of the state reflects its policy, which continues to violate human rights, while also endorsing zero-tolerance policies that lead to mass-incarceration, turning prisons into deposits known for institutional violence (overcrowding, lack of medical care, structural risks, inadequate nutrition, lack pf psycho-social care, legal assistance and cultural and educational activities) – and the practice of psychological and physical violence and torture.
All of this violence is also reflected against the family, submitted to the prejudice of society and humiliated on visitation days and in daily life. Establishing a space that gathers these people and contributes with the community to make the violence of the State against poor people seem less “natural” is one of the project’s main roles, because that way it can gradually win over the citizen participation of communities through critical clarification of the experienced contexts.

About the organization

The mission of the Association of Friends and Family of Prisoners (AMPARAR) is the intransigent defense of the human rights of incarcerated adolescents and adults and their friends and relatives and the coordination of these people as a group in solidarity with respect to the exercise of citizenship.


Association of Friends and Family of Prisoners is affiliated with the Unified Black Movement, Free Anastácia Collective, Popular preparatory courses network Uneafro and October 2 network.


The project delved deep into the association’s political dimension and contributed to the development of the critical and political consciousness of the attendees. Workshops were held with young people from the institutional reception service; thematic meetings about mass incarceration and the criminal state were arranged; legal assistance was given to relatives of prisoners; an experiment with on-line radio was made; debates were held; acts against police violence and courses on various themes were also arranged for.

Funding Line

Annual Call for Proposals



Total Granted

R$ 40,000


12 months

Main Themes

Guaranteeing the rule of law and criminal justice

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