Brazil: Lack of family structure is leading cause of violence among youths, according to study

20 June 2006 – <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />ParanáStateAdolescentOffenderCareCenter, (Centro Integrado de Atendimento ao Adolescente Infrator) or Ciaadi, divulged the results of a child offender profile survey this May. Located in Brazil’s wealthier southern region, the center ran the 8 month study through March 2006, interviewing 641 boys and girls under detention for a variety of crimes. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


 


According to the study, most teenage offenders come from families with little or no structure, have a childhood history of drug abuse, and have had little access to the job market.


 


Still according to the study, only 32% of the youths reside with their biological parents, and 42% were not enrolled in school.


 


Cultural activities


 


Concerned with the inactivity of its detained youths, the Ciaadi has created a partnership with the Citizenship Network (Rede da Cidadania) so as to offer classes in capoeira, hip-hop classes and rap verse. The Ciaadi hopes to help them develop social skills, improve relationships among them and ease their re-insertion to society.


 


Ciaadi director Márcio Filla is excited and even surprised with the positive results of the initiative. “We brought kids from various areas of the city together in the patio and there were no problems,” he said alluding to routine gang fighting in Ciaadi detention centers.


 


“We believe that rivalries and aggressiveness will be diverted to other activities that stimulate thought. The program also allows for youths to maintain long term associations with the program even after leaving the facilities,” Filla said.


 


Adolescent offenders spend an average of 45 days at the Ciaadi, the usual wait period before their cases are processed by the Child and Youth Court. There are however, youths being held at the Ciaadi for over four months while awaiting a place reserved for young offenders who commit serious crimes at the Educandário São Fransciso, located at the Paraná State capital, Curitiba.


 


Sources: Folha de Londrina, Jornal do Estado


 


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Click here to read a Unicef report on children and adolescents living in the triple border area, between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay: (in Portuguese) "Situação das crianças e dos adolescentes na tríplice fronteira entre Argentina, Brasil e Paraguai: Desafio e Recomendações."