Skip to main content
Brazilian state of Espírito Santo launches program to reduce youth violence

The Brazililan state of Espirito Santo will launch a special public safety program to help reduce high rates of violent crime, in particular homicide and robbery, boosting the state's ongoing efforts to combat such offenses. 

From 2011 to 2013 the homicide rate fell by 10 percent to 43.3 per 100,000 inhabitants, though historically the state has posted homicide rates of nearly double the national average. The $70 million state program will receive financing through a $56 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). 

The initiative aims to address in an intregrated fashion the factors that contribute to high rates of violent crime. It will do so with measures designed to boost the effectiveness of the police, enhance social inclusion and productivity of youths at risk of engaging in violence, and reduce rates of recidivism. 

The program focuses on eight of the 78 municipalities in the state (Cariacica, Guarapari, Serra, Viana, Vila Velha, Vitória, Linhares and São Mateus) that over the past three years have accounted for 72 percent of the state's homicides. Youths were the main victims and perpetrators, especially afro-descendants. 

The program seeks to adopt a new paradigm in the handling of public safety, shifting from a rigid command and control system to a modern, results-oriented one with broad citizen participation that includes a community police model. The goal is to train around 2,700 police officers over five years. 

Furthermore, 15 community centers will be built to provide services to avert violence among youths. The objective is to engage more than 52,000 youths in sports, culture, remedial education and skill development in order to encourage peaceful conflict resolution, and introduce 24,000 youths into the workforce. 

The estimated cost-benefit ratio is a return of $3.14 for each $1.00 invested, thanks to savings from reductions in crime and violence. 

The IDB loan is over 24 years, with an interest pegged to the LIBOR.

Jump back to top