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Brazil’s state of Paraná to carry out ambitious public security program

More than 150,000 young people will benefit from “Paraná Seguro,” Brazil’s first public security operation with international funding

Brazil’s state of Paraná will carry out an ambitious program of police reform and early social prevention of violence for at risk youth with the support of a $67.2 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). 

The police reforms seek to increase the effectiveness and capacity of law enforcement entities to prevent and deter crime. The initiatives directed at youths are designed to foster social and educational activities aimed at promoting the social reintegration of juvenile offenders. 

In the past decade, Paraná has achieved strong economic performance coupled with declining rates of poverty. But these successes have been overshadowed by an increase in crime and violence, including an 86 percent rise in the state’s homicide rate. 

Homicides occur mainly in urban centers - including the city of Curitiba - and in cities in border areas, affecting mostly young people.As a result, public confidence in state institutions responsible for security - especially the police - has been undermined. 

The project seeks to strengthen integration and coordination among the Military Police and Civilian Police forces, including the integration of planning and information systems and a focus on areas with the highest crime rate. 

In addition, the state will seek to create opportunities for providing young people with ways to make more productive use of their time.The program will fund sports activities, civic education, and training in conflict resolution. Young people also will be provided with options to complete their schooling, enabling them to better access the labor market. 

The program’s goals for its five-year implementation period include: 

  • The participation of 130,000 youths in sport, cultural, and recreational activities, and 43,000 in job training programs.
  • A 16 percent reduction in the homicide rate among 15 to 24 year olds and a reduced school dropout rate from 8.2 to 5.0 percent.
  • A reduced response time for processing homicide investigations by civilian police from 54 months to 12 months and an increase in the percentage of victims who report theft - a sign of confidence in the police force - from 47 percent to 65 percent. 

The “Paraná Seguro” programis the first public security operation in Brazil in which the government has requested international funding. The move recognizes both the value added by the Bank and the high priority assigned to the public security sector in the three levels of the Brazilian government. 

The IDB loan has a repayment period of 25 years, a grace period of 5.5 years and an interest rate based on LIBOR. Local counterpart funding totals $44.8 million.