Carlos Andre Abreu Carneiro

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2005


This profile was prepared when Carlos Andre Abreu Carneiro was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2005.
The New Idea
André, a former penitentiary agent, seeks to effectively reintegrate the imprisoned population of Ceará, preparing young inmates to have more opportunities in their reintegration to society, as well as preparing society to better receive those who leave the penitentiary system. The social emancipation of this population results from developing their productive abilities and from engaging several civil society organizations, as well as families, in the process of reintegration and empowerment.
Through NAAVIS—Núcleo de Articulações e Atividades Vertentes à Inclusão Social (Center of Articulation and Activities for Social Inclusion), a nonprofit civil society organization, André’s approach consists of organizing inmates, penitentiary agents, families, and civil society organizations in truly social networks, with strategies guided from the bottom upwards, according to the demand of the prison community. The working model of NAAVIS starts with a diagnosis, performed together with inmates and penitentiary agents in each prison, on the needs and interests of that prison community. Next, according to the collected information, the partner organizations provide services that meet these needs, including training and technical/educational assistance. The inmates become responsible for implementing various social programs from within the prison walls that will ultimately prepare inmates for work, family, and community life once they leave prison.
The joint effort with civil society enables change within the prison system and helps meet prisoners´ needs that are currently unmet by the existing structure. Through citizen sector organizations, the youths receive multidisciplinary education and access to external resources to help with their reintegration process, especially involving income generation. This joint effort also fortifies their ties with the outside world, facilitating their reintegration with families and society, led by social sector organizations, to reduce discrimination after prison. This work also reduces violence rates in prisons and youths’ recidivism rates and improves relationships between inmates and penitentiary agents. The NAAVIS model is already being disseminated in other cities of the state of Ceará and in over four Brazilian states.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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