Care Over Punishment: Conference 2021

April 21-22. 2021 I 2:00 PM - 6:00pm


Workshop #4 : South America

"RJ in South and Central America"

This panel will focus on: 1. Brazil’s Association for the Protection and Assistance of Convicts (APAC) prison system that was founded by Dr. Mario Ottoboni in 1970 and its extraordinary results. While crime and recidivism have increased in Brazil's public prisons, they have steadily declined in APAC prisons. A short documentary trailer about APAC’s unique method, used today in 23 countries across four continents, will be shown. We will learn how APAC’s “recuperandos” (recovering incarcerated people) live daily firsthand from a panelist who has lived and worked in APAC prisons and why another recuperando believes: “no one escapes from love." 2. Mexico’s RJ movement specifically its teacher training to help prevent violence in Mexican high schools and how RJ practice is being applied by human rights NGOs and to address sexual harassment in Mexico. Finally, 3. the Life Comes From It fund that promotes of Indigenous peacemaking and the intersections of it with RJ, transformative justice, as well as work on land-based healing initiatives will be shared. 

Simonetta D'Italia Wiener


Simonetta d'Italia Wiener is a longtime educator with degrees in law and art history, Simonetta d'Italia Wiener teaches Italian language, literature and film at St. Francis College in Brooklyn. Simonetta’s previous, Oaxaca-set documentary, The Awakened Heart, won a top prize at the Mexico International Film Festival. In 2001 she co-founded Camino Productions NYC with Giovanni Morricone. 

Katia Ornelas


Katia Ornelas is a Mexican attorney with a Masters degree in Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University. She founded Ornelas Konsultant a consultancy firm based in Mexico comprised of a network of specialists from Mexico, Peru, Argentina and the U.S., with expertise in peacemaking, restorative justice, transformative justice and a variety of other areas. Katia applied her long time yoga and meditation practices for the intersection between the fields of restorative justice, trauma healing and resilience to create frameworks, processes and tools. She was trained in the circle process in 2012, and since 2017 became one of Kay Pranis’s apprentices.

Izabela Sanches Barcelar


Izabela was born in Santa Barbara, Minas Gerais, Brazil and spent several years  in APAC (the Association for the Protection and Assistance of Convicts) the innovative Brazilian prison system centered on the full recovery and rehabilitation of the person. She then worked as an Inspector of Security in the female APAC in IItaúna. Izabela recently received her university degree in public security.

Seth Lennon Weiner


Seth Lennon Weiner is a lawyer-by-training who has been working in the field of restorative justice since 2010. Seth was formerly a Co-Director of the Center for Restorative Justice at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, a Program Officer for restorative justice grant making with the Porticus Foundation in New York City, and Executive Director for the Wabanki cultural and healing center Nibezun in Passadumkeag, Maine. Seth currently leads the Life Comes From It fund which makes grants in the US focused on restorative justice, transformative justice and Indigenous peacemaking. Throughout his lifetime he has wondered about justice and healing and the ways in which they connect. What he has learned so far is that he is only at the beginning! Seth lives with his wife, their two young boys and his mother-in-law.