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Rome Reports

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Made in Jail: Training inmates for a better future

Silvio Palermo ;

Made in Jail (Rome, Italy)

“We would think about the future, life after prison. We would ask once we?re released, what are we going to do?

In the 1980?s Silvio Palermo was behind bars in that very prison. To pass time, he was allowed to design t-shirts with the logo MADE IN JAIL. Once released, he went back to prison- but this time to train inmates. ;

Silvio Palermo ;

Made in Jail (Rome, Italy)

“It starts a ;mechanism of hope. A possibility to change one?s life for the better. And then, above everything else, it highlights the importance of team work. Anyone who works alone can?t accomplish much. But together with a team you can build something important, something big.”

Now, it?s a full blown operation. The main office is in Rome, but the actual workshops take place in prison. So far, hundreds of inmates have been trained. Everything from designs to prints. But more than a hobby, it?s something productive, they can look forward to. ;

Loredana Piacentino ;

Act Theatre Project (Rome, Italy)

“This type of training is very important, because many of the inmates in prison are immigrants, who don?t know how to read or write. So this type of training is really important.”

The T-Shirts and other items are then sold to the public. Then part of the money goes back into the program. Palermo says, he?s amazed that something so simple can create so much hope. ;

Silvio Palermo

Made in Jail (Rome, Italy)

“Many of them have gone on to open their own business. After learning the process, they?ve opened their own serigraphy office. So now they do the same thing we do.”

Loredana Piacentino

Act Theatre Project (Rome, Italy)

“It gives inmates the possibility of finding a different route, a positive route that can help change their lives.”

They say it?s that one possibility of hope that in the end, can make all the difference. ;