And what if the discourse on reintegration was just as indigestible?
– Published on 2 October 2018
Samuel Lourenço Filho spent nine years incarcerated in Brazil. To Samuel, the topic of reintegration is one that is not easy to swallow. On May 2018, he published his stance on the subject on a Brazilian journal website. With permission from the author, we have reproduced, translated and adapted the article. Point of view.
Eat or die!
The prisoners are starving There may well be nutritionists to calibrate the meals served, but yet the prisoners are still hungry. This is not an allegory; it’s reality. The food is usually tasteless, sometimes even rancid. The prisoners do not die due to the lack of foodin itself but rather of hunger either because their food arrives already out of date to the establishments, or because the bad quality is enough to take away their appetite.
This is the type of food they must settle for. Eat or die! One has to put up with the bitter taste and convince themselves that it's "very good for what it is" or that it's good enough for anyone "who only had grass and pebbles to get their teeth into".
There still remains to swallow the food seasoned with the hatred of all the people who think that the best meal for a prisoner is a 762 bullet shot from the watchtower.
A truce to gastronomy. To all my detained friends, here is my advice: Be careful not to swallow the rhetoric of reintegration! It is the most outdated, toxic and harmful food that we will try to make you swallow! This may well be necessary for your survival1.
Ne mangez pas de ce pain-là (the French title of the article) is a French expression equivalent to the English expression “I won’t stoop to that”. Due to the referred metaphor throughoutthe article, the original translation has been left untouched. ↩
Reintegration is a lure that is discharged by our leaders.
Reintegration is a joke! It is a junk product that is dispersed as a scheme for social progress. You prisoners, you are a barbarian, a crooked person. Reintegration is the accursed solution to make you civilized, social, human, orderly, and well educated ...
It is a lure that is discharged by our leaders. Reinsertion is based on the principle that the prisoner has never been part of society. As if the prisoner were an alien who fell on this planet to commit crimes, and he now needs to learn how to live with the local people.
My prisoner friends, be careful when you ingest the discourse over reintegration, because it can lead you straight into our current society: a society of consumption, prejudice, extremism, racism, machismo, religious intolerance and privileges. Take care! Once reinserted, you are reintegrated into a society that ostracizes.
Reintegration can make you believe in Lava Jato1, make you support the lowering of the age of criminal responsibility, or to think that aid to the poor can reach 4000 reais (around 988 US). It can even make you believe that a good thug is a dead thug. Warning!
I was incarcerated with former corrupt police officers that, after being excluded from the system, ended up in jail with people they had arrested themselves I saw the former governor Sérgio Cabral inaugurate a prison with the secretary of the penitentiary administration. Today both are imprisoned while the latter supported reintegration and firmness of the sentences..
Reintegration projects the belief that society is a distant world to reach; that it isperfect! It's a lie. The prison is in the city, and with the city. Prison is a social fact. Dishonest people, liars and hypocrites: no one assumes their share of responsibility in this. They exclude us and claim that we do not want to integrate. By nature, we would be bad and barbaric beings. How convenient!
Prison is anchored in society, the prisoners too. Nobody can be kept out of it. Be very careful with reintegration. By swallowing all of it, you can become crazy, it can go to your head, or even make you feel like you messed up. Reintegration is like stale food.
It can make you sick.
The operation Lava Jato (Express Wash) is an investigation that revealed the biggest corruption scandal in Brazil and a massive money-laundering system. ↩
Written by Samuel Lourenço Filho
Translated by Briane Laruy
Edited by Avery Hudson
Samuel Lourenço Filho
Samuel Lourenço Filho is 31 years old. He spent nine years incarcerated and has been in seven different penitentiary institutions in the state of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). He is currently on parole, and is pursuing a degree in Public Management and Economic and Social Development at the Federal Public University of Rio de Janeiro.