This profile was prepared when Ronaldo Monteiro was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2008.
The New Idea
Ronaldo’s citizen organization (CO), the Incubator of Ex-Prisoners’ Enterprises (IEE), reintegrates former prisoners into society as productive citizens. Without the services to prepare prisoners to leave prison and the societal stigmas against convicts makes it difficult for ex-offenders to restart their lives. Ronaldo identifies and develops entrepreneurialism among prisoners and provides emotional support to them before and after they leave prison. This transitional approach enables inmates to plan to re-enter society and provides them with the autonomy and confidence to reconstruct their lives. Through the Center of Social and Cultural Integration (CISC), Ronaldo mobilizes actors from the public and private sector to help foster entrepreneurial skills among prisoners while they are incarcerated. Since it is often extremely difficult for them to reintegrate into society and find employment after leaving prison, CISC builds strong social networks and nurtures skill sets while prisoners are serving time. When they are released they have a relationship with CISC and can find empowering job opportunities quickly. For ex-offenders who do not start businesses, CISC offers social support and provides job opportunities in the enterprises of other ex-offenders. Ronaldo is expanding this support network throughout Brazil.