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‘Trying on another man’s shoes’

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CALLY MAGALHÃES – TRYING ON ‘ANOTHER MAN’S SHOES’ WITH CRIMINALS IN SAO PAULO.

View the original article on the Tear Fund website here.

How do you get violent offenders to leave their old lives behind when they come out of prison? Tearfund worker Cally Magalhães has found a surprising answer.

She co-founded The Eagle Project to help offer young offenders in Sao Paolo’s youth prisons a second chance. At the heart of their rehabilitation process is role playing; the young people act out scenes of violence and crime.

We put them into improvised dramas.’ Explains Cally. As well as acting familiar roles as thieves or kidnappers, the young people also get to play the part of the victim or one of the victim’s family.

‘At certain points, we’ll freeze the action and ask the victim ‘what are you feeling?’ And they actually begin to experience that fear a victim really feels.’ says Cally. The result for many of the young people is dramatic. With the help of mentoring and rehabilitation, large numbers turn their backs on crime altogether. Sometimes all you need to see the world differently is to ‘walk a mile in another man’s shoes.’

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