They Exist Association – Incarcerated Women

READ - Reading, Existence, and Resistance

Rio de Janeiro

Objectives and target audience

Expand the Project for Remission of Sentence for Reading, already developed by the Department of Penitentiary Administration of Rio de Janeiro in the female prison units. In this way, it is possible to foster the development of the critical capacity of women prisoners, in addition to allowing the remission of four days of a sentence for each book read, after evaluation of the reading report or the corresponding critical review.

Main activities

  • Reading workshops;
  • Debate on selected books;
  • Critical reviews and reading reports;
  • Referral of evaluations and reports;
  • Follow-up on remissions.


According to the Infopen Women 2018, there was a 656% increase in the number of women incarcerated over 16 years, mainly due to the current drug policy, as 62% of women are imprisoned for trafficking-related crimes. Moreover, who are these women? The majority of them are Black (62%), young (50% up to 29 years of age), single (62%), mothers (74%) and with low schooling.

About the organization

The Associação ElasExistem – Mulheres Encarceradas ( They Exist AssociationIncarcerated Women) emerged in 2016, when the founders realized the paucity of data and debates about female imprisonment, shortly after attending the meeting that released the Mulheres, Meninas e Privação de Liberdade (Women, girls and liberty deprivation)report of the State Mechanism for Prevention and Combating Torture, at the Legislative Chamber of Rio de Janeiro. To ventilate the debates brought by the brutal reality presented in the document, they first connected with the OAB/RJ in the form of a commission. Then, seeking greater independence and already counting on the help and strength of some of the associates that remain, it was decided to disassociate itself from the organ and formalize itself as an association that was not subject to the political-economic linkages that another institution may demand. The association acts to give visibility to women prisoners, through the organization of events, lectures and discussion tables, aiming to promote the debate on imprisonment and institutional and structural racism, as well as the collection and donation of feminine pads and other hygiene materials which are delivered to the prison units according to the availability and need of each institution.


Frente Estadual pelo Desencarceramento do Rio de Janeiro (Disincarceration Group of the State of Rio de Janeiro);

Fórum Permanente de Saúde no Sistema Penitenciário do Rio de Janeiro (Permanent Group for Health in thePenitentiary System of Rio de Janeiro);

Grupo de Trabalho Mulheres e Meninas em Privação de Liberdade – ALERJ (Women and Girls in Prison Working Group);

Conselho de Comunidade RJ (Community Counci l of Rio de Janeiro).

Funding Line

Fighting Racism from the Bottom Up



Total Granted

R$ 69.722,00


18 months

Main Themes

Confronting racism

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