Communities of Restoration
In 1972, Brazilian lawyer Mario Ottoboni made a commitment to serve men and women locked up in the prisons of his society. Inspired by his understanding and experience of God's unconditional love for him, he and his colleagues developed a program to actively demonstrate that same unconditional love to those in prison. The methodology they developed over the next 15 years significantly reduces the reoffending rate of released prisoners.
The organization they formed to carry on this work, known by its acronym APAC, is now a chartered affiliate of Prison Fellowship International. As other PF national affiliates learned about this unique approach, some began to adapt the methodology to their own circumstances and situations. Over time, these adaptations came to be called Communities of Restoration.
of Restoration (COR) are 24-hour, 7-day-a-week intensive prison regimes
operated by Prison Fellowship NGOs. They are designed to reduce
offending behaviour through character-focused, faith-based programming.
five years ago, a small group of professionals, business people and
retirees in the suburbs of Sao Paolo, Brazil, began visiting prisoners
in their city to attend to their medical, psychological, educational,
vocational and spiritual needs. For a period of fifteen years they
sought an effective approach to prisoner rehabilitation.
there are important programmatic aspects to CORs, their strength stems
from particular values and principles as much as specific practices.
These values are explained on the opposite page. The methodology is
holistic in addressing all aspects of the lives of prisoners, and in
permeating all aspects of the prison environment.
promising studies suggest that the methodology works. One used records
from the original APAC facility, Humaita Prison. Two others were of the
first Community of Restoration in the United States, called the
InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI) program.
Listing of PF National Ministries working with the Community of Restoration (APAC) programme.
See inside Communities of Restoration programmes from around the world.
News items related to Communities of Restoration programmes.
Resources developed to help PF national ministries implement COR programmes.