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Brazil's Alternative Prison Program Teaches Yoga and Massage

“Down a dirt road in the Amazonian state of Rondonia, prisoners convicted of murder, theft and other crimes get a rare release from the day-to-day hardships of a penal system known for violence and overcrowding. ACUDA (Association for the Cultural Development of Prisoners), a local charity in the capital city of Porto Velho, trains detainees in spiritual and physical healing practices such as Ayurvedic massage as well as in vocational skills including car mechanics and gardening. The therapies have one goal, says Luiz Carlos Marques, the charity's founder - educating inmates about the possibilities of life beyond crime.”

From Reuters’ BRAZIL'S PRISONS - A LIFE BEYOND CRIME

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An inmate walks through a prison courtyard at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 28, 2015.
An inmate walks through a prison courtyard at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 28, 2015. Photo:Reuters
Prisoner Cleverson Barbosa, 27, kisses his children's feet during a half-day visit as part of the ACUDA program at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 28, 2015.
Prisoner Cleverson Barbosa, 27, kisses his children's feet during a half-day visit as part of the ACUDA program at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 28, 2015. Photo:Reuters
An inmate conducts an Ayurvedic massage on a fellow prisoner as part of the ACUDA program at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 27, 2015. Ayurveda is an ancient Hindu system of holistic healing. The massage is taught to the prisoners to help them understand the human body and engender a greater sense of compassion for others, according to ACUDA.
An inmate conducts an Ayurvedic massage on a fellow prisoner as part of the ACUDA program at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 27, 2015. Ayurveda is an ancient Hindu system of holistic healing. The massage is taught to the prisoners to help them understand the human body and engender a greater sense of compassion for others, according to ACUDA. Photo:Reuters
Prisoner Roque Pereira, 65, is covered in clay during a therapy session as part of the ACUDA program, at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 28, 2015.
Prisoner Roque Pereira, 65, is covered in clay during a therapy session as part of the ACUDA program, at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 28, 2015. Photo:Reuters
Prisoner Cleverson Barbosa, 27, (L) caresses his wife's face as their children sit watching, during a half-day visit as part of the ACUDA program, at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 28, 2015.
Prisoner Cleverson Barbosa, 27, (L) caresses his wife's face as their children sit watching, during a half-day visit as part of the ACUDA program, at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 28, 2015. Photo:Reuters
Inmates (wearing blue L-R) Messias Manoel, Jose Nunes, Manoel Joaquim and Rivaldavio da Silva, who are patients at a psychiatric prison, sit as a fellow prisoner Tiago (back), 24, takes care of them as part of the ACUDA program, at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 28, 2015.
Inmates (wearing blue L-R) Messias Manoel, Jose Nunes, Manoel Joaquim and Rivaldavio da Silva, who are patients at a psychiatric prison, sit as a fellow prisoner Tiago (back), 24, takes care of them as part of the ACUDA program, at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 28, 2015. Photo:Reuters
Handcuffs lie on the floor at the entrance of ACUDA's headquarters at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil Aug. 28, 2015.
Handcuffs lie on the floor at the entrance of ACUDA's headquarters at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil Aug. 28, 2015. Photo:Reuters
Inmates administer ear candling therapy to fellow prisoners during an alternative therapy session as part of the ACUDA program, at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil Aug. 27, 2015. Ear candling, which involves inserting a hollow cone-shaped device into the ear canal and lighting the exposed end, is believed by practitioners to draw out earwax. According to ACUDA the therapy is beneficial for the inmates' emotional health.
Inmates administer ear candling therapy to fellow prisoners during an alternative therapy session as part of the ACUDA program, at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil Aug. 27, 2015. Ear candling, which involves inserting a hollow cone-shaped device into the ear canal and lighting the exposed end, is believed by practitioners to draw out earwax. According to ACUDA the therapy is beneficial for the inmates' emotional health. Photo:Reuters
Inmates joke after a half-day visit by their families as part of the ACUDA program at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 28, 2015.
Inmates joke after a half-day visit by their families as part of the ACUDA program at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 28, 2015. Photo:Reuters
Prisoner Rafael Oliveira, 22, embraces his wife and baby during a half-day visit as part of the ACUDA program, at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 28, 2015.
Prisoner Rafael Oliveira, 22, embraces his wife and baby during a half-day visit as part of the ACUDA program, at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 28, 2015. Photo:Reuters
Inmates conduct Ayurvedic massage on their relatives during a half-day visit as part of the ACUDA program, at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 28, 2015. Ayurveda is an ancient Hindu system of holistic healing. The massage is taught to the prisoners to help them understand the human body and engender a greater sense of compassion for others, according ACUDA.
Inmates conduct Ayurvedic massage on their relatives during a half-day visit as part of the ACUDA program, at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 28, 2015. Ayurveda is an ancient Hindu system of holistic healing. The massage is taught to the prisoners to help them understand the human body and engender a greater sense of compassion for others, according ACUDA. Photo:Reuters
Prisoners wash themselves after taking part in a clay therapy session as part of the ACUDA program, at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil Aug. 28, 2015. According to ACUDA, prisoners spend most of their hours in dank, dark cells and the clay therapy is designed to improve their skin.
Prisoners wash themselves after taking part in a clay therapy session as part of the ACUDA program, at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil Aug. 28, 2015. According to ACUDA, prisoners spend most of their hours in dank, dark cells and the clay therapy is designed to improve their skin. Photo:Reuters
Prisoners Helio Steves (L), 57, and Epifacio Soares, 62, are covered in clay by fellow inmates during a therapy session as part of the ACUDA program at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 28, 2015. According to ACUDA, prisoners spend most of their hours in dank, dark cells and the clay therapy is designed to improve their skin. It is part of an alternative therapy program the charity uses to address the physical and emotional needs of inmates.
Prisoners Helio Steves (L), 57, and Epifacio Soares, 62, are covered in clay by fellow inmates during a therapy session as part of the ACUDA program at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 28, 2015. According to ACUDA, prisoners spend most of their hours in dank, dark cells and the clay therapy is designed to improve their skin. It is part of an alternative therapy program the charity uses to address the physical and emotional needs of inmates. Photo:Reuters
Inmates do yoga stretches and breathing exercises as part of the ACUDA program, at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 28, 2015.
Inmates do yoga stretches and breathing exercises as part of the ACUDA program, at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 28, 2015. Photo:Reuters
Prisoners Sergio Luiz Brito Aponte (L), 38, and Alexandre Valente, 31, embrace while taking part in a Family Constellations therapy session as part of the ACUDA program, at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil Aug. 27, 2015.
Prisoners Sergio Luiz Brito Aponte (L), 38, and Alexandre Valente, 31, embrace while taking part in a Family Constellations therapy session as part of the ACUDA program, at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil Aug. 27, 2015. Photo:Reuters
An occupational therapist (back) conducts an Ayurvedic massage on prisoner Anderson Miranda, 33, as part of the ACUDA program, at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 27, 2015. Ayurveda is an ancient Hindu system of holistic healing. The massage is taught to the prisoners to help them understand the human body and engender a greater sense of compassion for others, according to ACUDA.
An occupational therapist (back) conducts an Ayurvedic massage on prisoner Anderson Miranda, 33, as part of the ACUDA program, at a complex of ten prisons in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Aug. 27, 2015. Ayurveda is an ancient Hindu system of holistic healing. The massage is taught to the prisoners to help them understand the human body and engender a greater sense of compassion for others, according to ACUDA. Photo:Reuters
Published 27 October 2015
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