Working and Forgiveness Behind Bars: Giotto in the Due Palazzi Prison of Padua
18 maggio 2015

Percorsi di secondo welfare and Centro Einaudi, in collaboration with CESEN (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano) and thanks to Fetzer Institute, present the working paper "Working and Forgiveness Behind Bars: Giotto in the Due Palazzi Prison of Padua". The paper was official presented on May 20th in the prison of Regina Coeli, Rome, during the event "Carcere e lavoro: un dialogo internazionale su un approccio innovativo di riabilitazione".


Andrea Perrone is Full Professor of Law at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan. He is the Director of CESEN (Centro Studi sugli Enti Ecclesiastici e sugli altri Enti senza fini di lucro).
Tommaso Bardelli is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Yale University.
Pauline Bernard holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in History from the EHESS of Paris.
Rachele Greco is a graduate of the Faculty of Education at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan.


This paper focuses on programs implemented by the social cooperative Giotto within Padua’s maximum-security prison. Since the 1990s the cooperative has provided training and job opportunities to hundreds of inmates within the Due Palazzi prison facility. The first part of the paper presents the history of the cooperative, as well as the work activities that it currently manages within the prison facility—among others, an award-winning bakery and the production of sophisticated bicycle prototypes. In the second section we review the best practices developed by the cooperative in the field of the rehabilitation of offenders. This part analyzes the main features and the assumptions behind the rehabilitative model applied by Giotto’s staff. Finally, in the third section, based on semi-structured interviews with a sample of inmates currently employed by Giotto, we put forward a number of hypotheses concerning the effects of Giotto’s programs. Interviewees attribute to their involvement with Giotto a large number of beneficial effects, from improvements in mental and physical health to personal development. We conclude with an invitation for further data collection and both quantitative and qualitative testing, in order to carefully measure the many social benefits that result from Giotto’s innovative activities within the Due Palazzi facility.