Empowering (wo)men Behind Bars
A Journey of Transformation

At Diamanta, we believe in the power of second chances. Our mission is to transform the lives of (wo)men incarcerated at Ayacucho Prison by providing them with opportunities for personal and professional growth. Here's how we are turning challenges into opportunities:

Facts about Ayacucho's Prison

  • 60% of female inmates are below 30 years of age. 
  • 62% of female inmates are incarcerated for drug-related issues.
    • 21% for terrorism or fraud
    • 7% for theft
    • 4% for human trafficking
  • 85% female inmates are single mothers, widowed or divorced.
  • 83% female inmates maintain contact with their families.
  • 54% female inmates have full sentences ranging from 11 to 15 years, with 8% serving 16 years or more. 
  • 48% of female inmates are involved in labour activities, while 29% are pursuing their studies.

Skills and Employment

We understand the importance of dignified work conditions and skill development. Through our collaboration with INPE (prison), we offer meaningful work opportunities to the inmates. These activities not only keep them engaged but also provide a sense of purpose and direction.

Our journey began in 2018 with a pilot program involving 12 female knitters. Since then, the number has grown to 30 women who craft beautiful handmade knitwear. The program equips them with valuable professional and personal skills and helps reduce their sentences through productive work. In 2023, two male inmates learned about our initiative and were eager to participate. Despite knitting being less common among men in Peru, they had experience and desperately wanted to earn a living. They personally convinced the director, and now it’s a reality. Today, 10 men are also proudly part of our knitting team.

For the inmates at Ayacucho Prison, earning money is not just about financial gain; it's about survival, dignity, and hope for a better future. Here are some key reasons why these earnings are essential:

  1. Basic Needs: The income helps cover essential expenses such as food, personal hygiene kits, and clothing, ensuring they can maintain basic living standards.

  2. Legal Costs: Many inmates use their earnings to pay back legal fees and other related costs, reducing their financial burdens.

  3. Support for Families: A significant portion of their income is sent to support their children and families, maintaining vital connections and providing for their loved ones' needs.

  4. Future Aspirations: These earnings are saved and planned for future investments, such as starting their own businesses, further education, and rebuilding their lives post-incarceration.

  5. Emotional Well-being: Having a source of income empowers these (wo)men, giving them a sense of purpose and improving their overall mental health and self-esteem.

Challenges at Ayacucho Prison

The conditions at Ayacucho Prison are far from ideal, presenting significant challenges:

  • Overcrowding: The prison has a capacity of 686 inmates but currently houses 2,536, leading to severe overcrowding, limited space, and inadequate infrastructure for work.
  • Limited Employment Opportunities: There are scarce work opportunities, with only three organizations, including Diamanta, providing employment to the inmates.
  • Market Access: There is limited access to markets for selling their products, restricting their ability to generate income.
  • Mother and Child: The law allows mothers to stay with their children until they turn three years old. Currently, there are six children under the age of three who have a designated daycare space.

Dreams and Aspirations

Even behind bars, these (wo)men have clear and inspiring goals for their future:

  • Starting Businesses: Many plan to open knitting workshops, clothing stores, natural medicine shops, and more.
  • Educational Pursuits: They aim to study sewing, beauty care , and other trades to ensure a stable and prosperous future.
  • Family Reunification: Reconnecting with their children and communities is a primary goal, providing them with the motivation to work towards a better life.

Support Our Mission

We invite you to join us in our mission to empower these (wo)men and give them a second chance at life. Your support can make a significant difference:

  • Donate: Every contribution brings us closer to achieving our goals and making a real impact.
  • Share: Help us spread the word about our project and reach more people who can support our cause.

Together, we can create a future where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Let's bring hope and empowerment to the (wo)men of Ayacucho Prison. 🌟 

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