Inmates produce soap in RS prison

Inmates produce soap in RS prison
Inmates produce soap in RS prison

The Curumim Ecological Soap factory, located at the Santo Ângelo Penal Institute, will purchase new machinery, which will enable increased production of items and the expansion of the physical structure. The changes will occur with a resource of R$ 335 thousand, allocated by Consulta Popular RS.

Currently, around four to five thousand bars are manufactured monthly by inmates and distributed to the 11 prison establishments in the 3rd Penitentiary Region of the Penal Police. The items are used for the hygiene of prisoners and for cleaning the physical spaces of the units.

The Popular Consultation is a process in which the population directly defines part of the investments and services that will appear in the State budget, to meet the priorities of municipal and regional interests. The soap factory reached third place in the vote in the Missions Region.

Two pieces of equipment will be purchased: an electric beater, which will replace the old one that runs on gas, and a new extruder, a machine responsible for shaping the soap. With the current structure, each beat of the machine is capable of producing 450 bars. With the new machinery, it will be possible to manufacture a thousand units in each beat. Thus, the factory will be able to meet the demands of these items in the State’s penal system, covering the entire prison population.

The Penal Police employee and creator of the project, Débora Pedroso, highlights the work carried out to seek votes and give visibility to the factory. “We carried out a movement in the Missões region, to publicize the project and seek to achieve a good vote among the population. This was done with the aim of raising awareness, talking about environmental sustainability and the work done in the prison system. It is a project that is very well-regarded and accepted by the community,” she says.

Updating the machines, in addition to increasing the production of items, will provide greater security for those who work on site and more job opportunities for people deprived of liberty who are interested in participating in this work activity. There will also be an expansion of vegetable oil collection points in the municipality, the raw material for soap collected weekly by the team that works at the factory. The arrival of the machinery and the beginning of changes to the structure of the site are expected to occur in the first half of this year.

Sustainability and resocialization

Started in 2011, the Curumim Ecological Soap project has one of the largest soap productions in the prison system. Since 2014, it has had a factory with adequate space for the production of items. The action arose due to the prisoners’ demand to keep the living space clean, especially when they received visitors. The unit then began to invest in the manufacture of soap based on cooking oil to meet internal needs.

This type of project, in addition to generating savings for the State, as it is viable to produce part of the cleaning items themselves, allows people deprived of their liberty to learn a new trade and is a sustainable alternative for reusing waste that would otherwise be discarded. . It also provides remission of the sentence: for every three days worked, convicts reduce one day of their sentence.

Currently, five inmates of the semi-open regime work at the site, one of them receives remuneration through an agreement with the city of Santo Ângelo. Prisoners are selected according to their conduct and, after joining the activity, they participate in instructions on production processes.

André (fictitious name), who has worked at the factory for about a year, highlights the impact on his life of the service he performs there: “It’s a good service. We get the sentence remitted, we can leave the cell and spend the day working. There is oil collection on Tuesdays and Fridays, which is another opportunity to socialize with society and meet people. All of this favors our life, with peaceful work, in which we learn a lot.”

Several steps are necessary for a bar of ecological soap to be ready. First, the vegetable oil is filtered and decanted. Then, the inputs are weighed, the animal fat is heated with the oil, the caustic soda diluted in water is added and then the dolomite, the dye and the essence are added. This mixture, still in a liquid state, is placed in molds to rest and solidify. When the material is solid, the extruder machine is used, which gives the soap the desired shape. Once this process is complete, the bars are packaged and ready for use.

Text: Rafaela Pollacchinni/Ascom SSPS

Photo: Jurgen Mayrhofer/Ascom SSPS
Editing: Rodrigo Toledo França/Secom

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Inmates produce soap prison



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