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Chile: Higher education degree for women prisoners

Chile’s education minister, Harald Beyer, and minister of Justice, Patricia Perez, together with the Technical Training Center ProAndes and Caja Los Andes, signed an unprecedented agreement to provide formal higher education to 19 women prisoners of the Santiago Women’s Prison.

The women, who have to meet certain requirements, will obtain a technical degree after five semesters. According to Harald Beyer, this is a very good opportunity for these women to gain knowledge that will enable their rehabilitation after their convictions. For Patricia Perez, this degree will give the women a real chance to reintegrate and contribute to society, avoiding them to fall back into a life of crime.

This agreement is partly sponsored by the Chilean government’s New Millennium Scholarship and partly by the private sector. The degree awarded, a Business Management Technician degree, was chosen because of its big potential in Chile. In the medium term, the idea is to extend this project to other penal institutions in Chile.

Ministry of Education (in Spanish)