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Fernando Moleres / Panos Pictures

Breaking The Circle Juvenile in conflict with law. Sierra Leone, october 2012

This project means to divulge the possibilities for change in the lives of young minors after their incarceration and the new realities these ex-prisoners face in Sierra Leone. I came across these boys in the maximum-security prison of Pademba, where they were serving time alongside 1,300 adult prisoners under terrible conditions. As minors, they should not have entered a maximum-security prison. The juveniles are released after long periods in prison without rehabilitation. Many of them were street boys or orphans from the civil war. Some of them had relatives but their relationships were damaged due to the stigma of prison. Some returned to the streets after their release, and three of them got into conflict with the law and returned to prison. They expressed to me a desire to change their lives; an opportunity to re-enter society.

The lack of opportunities when they get out is directly related with recidivism rates. My documentary work is focused on the lives of six young former prisoners, and the human reality documented here could be extrapolated to Africa where there are thousands of minors in adult prisons in Africa. In 2012, I founded Free Minor Africa’s social rehabilitation program to help juveniles in conflict with law.

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Find Out More: http://www.freeminorafrica.org