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Brazilian state of Minas Gerais to improve citizen security with support from IDB

With support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais will implement a comprehensive citizen security program in order to follow up on a decade of government efforts to reduce crime and violence through improvements in police effectiveness, integrating young people into society and cutting criminal recidivism.

The plan will feature $70 million in financing from the IDB and allow Minas Gerais to focus its crime prevention and control efforts on 14 of 853 municipalities that account for half of the killings that are committed in the state.

Over the past four years Minas Gerais has made major progress in reducing poverty, with GDP growth rates that on average exceeded the rate of Brazil as a whole. Still, from 2011 to 2013 the homicide rate rose by 15 percent. Most of the victims were young people, mainly black.

The new program aims to enhance the community policing model, which stresses prevention of crime, and to improve crime control and investigation through the use of more modern procedures and technologies. The goal is to train 4,000 police officers in community relations, human rights and criminal analysis, and to strengthen community security councils to get citizens more involved in preventing crime.

The plan also calls for construction of a new comprehensive center for technical and scientific work and criminal investigation.

The program aims to enhance social prevention of violence by providing 26,000 youths living in precarious conditions with access to sports activities, remedial education and job training, among other.

Finally, the program will support the process of rehabilitating youths and adults who have been convicted of crimes, by building a new social and education center for young people and four units for the recovery and reintegration of adult offenders. In addition, there will be activities for the social and economic rehabilitation of 6,500 former prison inmates. A system for electronic monitoring of 1,700 ex-prisoners will be expanded.

The goals of the program include lowering the homicide rate by 20 percent in five years, and raising the percentage of homicides with an identified culprit from 57 percent in 2013 to 66.7 percent in 2019.

The IDB loan is over 25 years and has an interest rate pegged to LIBOR.

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