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Integrarte is strengthened and inaugurates sales locations

Panama's first prison brand, "IntegrArte", which was conceived and implemented with the support of UNODC, celebrated its first year as a social reintegration program and inaugurated a sales location at the General Office of the Prison System (DGSP for its acronym in Spanish).

In addition, different sales location have been previously inaugurated in the stores Madison Store and Steven's, while next week another will be inaugurated at the Ministry of Government, where they will sell handicrafts, bracelets, handbags, and other products made in the five workshops of IntegrArte within Panamanian prisons.

During the inauguration ceremony Armando Medina, General Director of the Prison System, stated that "he is proud that IntegrArte celebrates a year as a reintegration program and assured that the DGSP will continue to promote this project, which has made possible to publicize the art of the individuals deprived of their liberty, both nationally and internationally".

IntegrArte was presented at various national events, such as fairs, Fashion Week Panama, as well as at the European Development Day (EDD), which took place in Brussels from 7 th to 8 th June 2017.

Sharon Diaz, Deputy Director General of the Prison System, mentioned that IntegrArte "more than a prison brand, is a reintegration project that strengthens the skills, talent and art that prisoners have."

María Noel Rodríguez, Prison Team Coordinator for the United Nations Regional Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC ROPAN) stated that "the prison brand has strengthened the dignity of women and men deprived of their liberty and constitutes a project, which in favor of social reintegration, collaborates in the improvement of public security."

Rodriguez added that UNODC will continue to support the social reintegration programs, in particular IntegrArte, within the framework of the Doha Declaration Program. She also thanked the support of the US Embassy whose funds allowed the acquisition of the stands that were inaugurated.

Proof of the impact of the program is the testimony of a former prisoner who participated in IntegrArte and will now work at the stands, who said that the project allowed her to grow as a human being and acquire skills to live in freedom.

The first prison brand is being developed in the prisons of David, La Joya, Nueva Joya, Penonomé and the Women's Rehabilitation Center, benefiting more than 100 persons deprived of their liberty.